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The Washington School?

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The Washington School?

Postby markkay » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:37 am

I started reading a bio of Orson Welles, which mentions that when he was 10 or so, he briefly attended the Washington School in Madison. Anyone know where that was? I assume it was torn down a long time ago. Just curious!
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:41 am

I believe the present MMSD Doyle Administration Building on Dayton St. was once the Washington Elementary School.
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby Maeve » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:24 pm

"View looking west at Washington School, located at 217 North Broom Street. From the early 1940's until its demolition in 1957, the school was used as the Dane County Courthouse Annex. During this time its address was listed as 353 West Johnson Street."

-- WI Historical Society
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:37 pm

Guess I was off by a block or so. Anyways, one of the alternative schools I taught at had a nice wooden magazine stand in the library that had Washington School stenciled on it. I'm glad they recycled it from the old school.
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:49 pm

Addenda:
I guess I was kinda right. After the original Washington School was demonlished, a new one was built, at 545 W. Dayton, which is now the MMSD administration building. But it wasn't where Orson Welles attended given his age, so he went to the school at the original site.
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby markkay » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:48 am

Thanks for the feedback!
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby narcoleptish » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:17 pm

In middle school I was either on a walking tour of Willy st. or watching a slide show of Willy st. history, can't remember, but we were told that Welles had lived in a house across from what is now Roman Candle. It was a larger yellow house that was torn down for the Condo project. It was the first house west of the corner brick building.
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby DickieRay » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:19 pm

It seems odd that Welles would have attended a school on the opposite side of the capitol, 2 miles from his home with Lapham much closer. Maybe he lived in another residence as well.
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:55 pm

DickieRay wrote:It seems odd that Welles would have attended a school on the opposite side of the capitol, 2 miles from his home with Lapham much closer. Maybe he lived in another residence as well.

Lapham is the only elementary school with a pool (in its basement). I believe it was an "orthopedic school" which is akin to special education today. But again, Washington School had an orthopedic department (at least in its Dayton Street incarnation).

Did Welles have special needs?
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby snoqueen » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Lapham's pool isn't in the basement, it's on the ground floor with a diredt entrance at the corner on Mifflin.

Have we got Welles mixed up with Liberace? Liberace was supposed to have lived in a very small house (still standing) at the corner of Johnson and Brearly.
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby markkay » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:34 am

The bio (Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu, by Simon Callow) says that Welles was at the school for just a short while, but I don't think the author gives an exact length of time. He does mention Welles' claim that when the head of the school made a sexual advance, Welles jumped out a window. That may or may not have happened, as the author notes it is often hard to separate fact from fiction when Welles tells stories about himself. In any event, Welles next attended the Todd School in Woodstock Illinois.

As for the Washington School, one writer claims: "As a child, Welles was thrown out of the Washington School in Madison, Wisconsin, for wearing a Halloween costume so disturbing that his teacher ran screaming from the room; he must surely have been imitating [Lon] Chaney." See http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webp ... 04n10.html
The bio I'm reading doesn't mention that claim.
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby markkay » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:52 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Did Welles have special needs?


No, he didn't.
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Re: The Washington School?

Postby surroundedbyreality » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:53 pm

The alleged molestation happened at Camp Indianola on the north shore of Lake Mendota in the summer of 1925. I also have heard that he lived on Hawthorne Ct. That would make more sense if he went to Washington school.
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