Ballard High School (Seattle) opens in January 1916.

  • By Staff
  • Posted 4/27/2001
  • Essay 3232

In January 1916, Ballard High School opens. The school, located at 1418 NW 65th Street, is designed by Edgar Blair for some 1,000 students.

When Ballard was annexed to Seattle in 1907, Ballard had a small high school in a wood framed building at the corner of Tallman and Barnes Avenue. The Annual Report of the Seattle school district noted that this building was "inadequate and unfit for further use as a high school." The report remarked on the patience of the people of Ballard in waiting for a new high school.

After 1916 when the school opened, enrollments grew rapidly. In 1925, the northwest wing was added. This replaced 11 portable buildings placed on the grounds to accomodate the overflow of students. The new wing included a botany laboratory and a greenhouse, and increased capacity to 1,500 students.

Enrollment burgeoned. By 1938 there were almost 2,000 students. In 1942, ninth graders were transferred to other schools. In 1959, "pent-up needs burst forth in ... massive alterations and additions ..."(Erigero).

The old Ballard High School was demolished in 1997. Groundbreaking for the new school, attended by Seattle Superintendent of Schools John Stanford, occurred on October 25, 1997. The new school, designed by Mahlum & Nordfors, McKinley Gordon, opened in 1999. The principal (as of 2001) is Dr. David Engle.


Patricia C. Erigero, Seattle Public Schools: Historic Building Survey (Seattle: Seattle Public Schools and Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority, 1989), 237-243; "Ballard High School (

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