Monmouth Park School was a public school opened in North Omaha in the 1890s. Originally, it was a four-room wooden schoolhouse built to serve the outlying farms in the area west of North 30th Street.
A new building, located at 4508 North 33rd Street, was built in 1903. Originally located in a suburban neighborhood, the school was quickly surrounded by homes, businesses and more. Its neighbors included a the 30th and Ames historic commercial district, North High, and Immanuel Hospital.
For several decades, the school offered kindergarten through eighth grade to neighborhood students. All of the regular activities and events happened there, including graduations, expansions and events. According to local historian and former history teacher Mark Schulze, Monmouth Park students would have an annual Halloween parade up Ames Avenue to the Immanuel Deaconess Institute, back through the complex grounds past the hospital, home for elderly and other wings, then home to the school.
Monmouth Park was the first school building in Omaha to act as a community center. The school district was bombarded by requests from the neighborhood to keep the building open for neighborhood members after school and on the weekend, and the school board allowed the use. By 1921, the practice had expanded citywide and was seen as a popular approach.
White flight struck the neighborhood dramatically in the early 1960s, and by 1967, Monmouth Park School was recognized as one of Omaha’s Black schools, which were defacto segregated by Omaha’s housing patterns. In 1977, the school had 21 professional staff and the student population of 460.
In 1980, the Omaha Public Schools nominated closing the school and combining its student population with the nearby Druid Hill Elementary School at North 31st and Sprague. In 1982, the happened, and Monmouth Park School was permanently closed.
The Monmouth Park School Apartments
Despite being designed by important Omaha architect Thomas Rogers Kimball, the Omaha Public School District wanted to tear the building down after closing it in the 1980s. However, after a citywide outcry, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. That year, the building was converted into apartments.
One of the earliest school-to-apartment conversions in the city of Omaha, the building was seen as a potential model for what could happen to out-dated schools across the city. However, the apartments had a hard time being rented. After sitting empty for a year, the building was hit hard by a wind storm in 1993. It was demolished in 1995.
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