Historic Structures

Charles Major School, Shelbyville Indiana

Date added: January 8, 2021 Categories: Indiana School

The school was constructed on the former site of the Shelbyville Seminary. Although the seminary could have remained on the site when the new building was constructed, it was not practical. The seminary was constructed in 1822 with another building added in 1855. The new school building, constructed in 1922, was named after Charles Major, a local author of childrens' books. A statue depicting a young boy from one of Major's books, "The Bears of Blue River", was placed outside of the main entrance of the school. It has since been moved to the Town Square.

The original building was constructed in 1922; an addition was built in 1949. The addition was constructed to replicate the original portion of the building. There has been some alteration to the windows on the rear facade, and all of the doors have been modernized. A 2-story arched window and two oriel windows have been infilled on the southwest facade.

Architectural Character: The two-story brick structure constructed in 1922 was originally rectangular in plan. The later addition altered that plan to an irregular shape. The building is not characteristic of any particular style of architecture, although the detailing exhibits some Colonial Revival influence. The building is characterized by an arched stone entryway with a scrolled bracket in the keystone position. Above the door is a simple stone name plate. The first floor windows are connected at the sill by a simple stone string course. Likewise, the second-story windows are connected at t^>e lintel with a stone string course. All of the window bays' are recessed. Above the second floor windows are a series of square decorative stone panels. The central section of the main facade is characterized by a brick parapet with a stone balustrade and stone moldings. There are two stone reliefs of a book and torch on the parapet.

The 1st floor is occupied by classrooms, an auditorium/gymnasium area, a teachers' room and library. The 2nd floor is completely occupied by classrooms. The basement level is occupied by the furnace rooms, boys and girls restrooms, the kindergarten classroom, and a small kitchen.

The building was demolished in the 1980s for construction of a five-story, 70 unit, low and moderate income senior citizens apartment complex.