2008-08-06 / Local News

South High School added to national register of historic places

Williamsville South High School, at 5950 Main St., has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Williamsville South High School, at 5950 Main St., has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Williamsville South High School, 5950 Main St., has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is the nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation.

"We have long recognized the historical and architectural significance of the school," said Superintendent Howard S. Smith. "This national designation enables us to preserve a piece of local history and secure a legacy for future generations."

South High School is historically significant as an example of mid-20th century school architecture in Western New York, designed by acclaimed local architect Duane S. Lyman (1886-1966), who was known as the dean of Western New York architecture.

The school is also significant for its role in the growth and importance of public education, community planning and the history of the Williamsville community.

Built in 1949 to serve a growing school-age population, the school opened as Williamsville Junior Senior High School in September 1950 with a capacity for 1,000 students, grades seven 12. When Mill Middle School opened in 1958, the Main Street school became Williamsville Senior High. The district grew rapidly in the 1960s, and when North High School was built in 1968, the original high school was renamed South High.

Additions were made to the building in 1961 and 1992 to meet the needs of new educational trends and technology.

In April 2008, South High School was designated a historical site by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. As a result of the state designation, the school automatically was nominated for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. More than 80,000 listings from across the country make up the National Register, which includes properties that are deemed significant to the nation, to a state, or to a community.

For more information about the National Register of Historic Places, visit www.nps.gov/nr.

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