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Horace Mann School – St Paul Public Schools

St. Paul, MN

Community Asset

Clarence “Cap” Wiginton, the first African-American municipal architect in the United States, designed the Art Deco-style Horace Mann Elementary School building and dozens of other St. Paul landmarks. A hard act to follow, to be sure. But nearly a century later, the time to update and expand the 1930 building arrived. Miller Dunwiddie often encounters the need to balance history with modern requirements. Over the decades, education, community life, and buildings systems have changed, and we understand how to revitalize important community assets to serve new generations.

The staff and faculty wanted student focused, flexible learning spaces that could accommodate collaborative and project-based learning, community events, and serve students with special needs. The building also needed modern HVAC, security, bathrooms, and technology infrastructure. The Horace Mann School had acquired three earlier additions, but they ultimately did not cohere well. We unified the existing structures with a two-story addition that provides new program space, reorganized rooms and traffic flow across the campus, and updated those antique building systems. The new addition’s window patterns and exterior brick and stone complements the historic facades. The neighborhood and the past is honored. But this school is now ready to serve new generations of learners.