The Stickney School was established in 1893 by Julia Noyes Stickney and Josephine Stickney. The first classrooms were in a residence which accommodated about 60 scholars. In 1903, the school was built. The architect was J.E.O. Pridmore, who lived nearby and was active at the Church of the Atonement. Pridmore was also the architect of the Manor House Apartment building. The school was enlarged in 1910 and again in 1917. Between 1903 and 1910, the population of Edgewater grew. The only schools in the area were the Goudy School, the Rosehill School and the Edgewater School.
The Stickney school offered an alternative to public education with its purpose stated as “a school to give boys and girls the best foundation possible for their physical and moral development along with careful and thorough intellectual training. Emphasis is place on self-direction, helpfulness and good habits of work. The knowledge among the best educators that learning is an individual and personal matter, and that little can be realized by ‘mass production’ is the keynote of the school.” Clearly this private educational institution planned to distinguish itself from public education.
The school included a Kindergarten, Primary Grades, a Lower School (grade 3,4,5), an Upper School (grades 6,7,8) and a High School for girls. The high school was focused on preparing girls to take the College Entrance Examination Board test in order to gain admission to eastern colleges such as Smith, Holyoke, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr and Vassar. Each student was required to participate in organized athletics, which included basketball, swimming, volleyball, baseball, table tennis and riding (at the Holdorf Riding School in Morton Grove). The school had a side yard to the west of the building for some of these outdoor activities.
In 1930, the original founders of the school, the Misses Stickney, retired after 37 years of service. The school was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Durrant, who became the principals of the school. Despite the Depression, the school continued to serve those who could afford private education.
From the time the school was first built until 1950, this was a neighborhood street that ended at the lakefront. On the south side of the street across from the school was an apartment building designed by neighborhood architect, J.E.O. Pridmore. At the southwest corner was the Edgewater Country Club, an older social club which hosted dances and special events. Other community organizations, such as the “Men of St. Ita’s parish,” held social events at this club. To the east of the school once stood a large single family home.
In 1953, a permit was taken out to alter the space into a nursing home. In the late 1970s, a permit was taken out to convert the space into condos. The photo above is an undated photo of the school which was donated to the Edgewater Historical Society. It shows a cupola on the roof of the building. When you get to the building, compare the photo to the building and find any other differences.