The Prettiest Public High School In Every State
Do you see your former high school on this list?
Architectural Digest recently revealed its list of the most beautiful public high schools in every state in the U.S. There are many traditional buildings and a few more modern, nontraditional designs among the bunch. All are stunning in their own way.
Along with our recap of AD’s list below, we offer some of our own picks. Maybe you’ve got your own.
Alabama: Murphy High School, Mobile
Style: Spanish Revival
Claim to fame: The 28-acre campus gets its name from Samuel S. Murphy, Mobile County’s superintendent of schools from 1900-1926.
Alternate: Hewitt-Trusville High School
Alaska: Kodiak High School, Kodiak
Claim to fame: The high school’s original 1950s building was updated and modernized in 2015.
Arizona: Chandler High School, Chandler
Style: Classical Revival
Claim to fame: When it was built in the 1920s, it was considered “semi-fireproof” because of the unusually low amount of wood used in its structure. Several athletic shoe and apparel companies filmed ads on campus as well.
Alternate: Phoenix Union Bioscience High School
Arkansas: Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock
Style: Art Deco and Collegiate Gothic
Claim to fame: The school was the site of a historic moment in southern desegregation in 1957. The American Institute of Architects also named it “America’s Most Beautiful High School” after it was built.
Alternate: Fayetteville High School
California: Torrance High School, Torrance
Style: Mix of styles
Claim to fame: The filming location for “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and many other productions.
Alternate: Surprising or not, a lot of California public high schools crop up on “best of” lists for the most visually appealing high school campuses. Too many to list them all here, in fact.
Colorado: East High School, Denver
Connecticut: Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Canaan
Delaware: Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes
Florida: Hillsborough High School, Tampa
Georgia: Milton High School, Milton
Style: Modern with classical
Claim to fame: The new building opened in 2005 to accommodate a bigger student body.
Alternate: Glynn Academy
Hawaii: President William McKinley High School, Honolulu
Idaho: Boise High School, Boise
Style: Varies according to building
Claim to fame: The current school’s campus was built in several phases and thus varies in architectural style. Idaho’s first commercial radio station also broadcast from the high school.
Alternate: Pocatello High School
Illinois: Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest
Indiana: Shortridge High School, Indianapolis
Style: Classical Revival
Claim to fame: This is an old school with long-time progressive values. An early superintendent allowed women teachers and black students, both uncommon at the time.
Alternate: Mishawaka High School
Iowa: City High School, Iowa City
Claim to fame: A Public Works Administration-built school (like many others on this list) that had multiple additions over the years.
Alternate: Abraham Lincoln High School
Kansas: Wichita East High School, Wichita
Kentucky: duPont Manual High School, Louisville
Claim to fame: The real-life figure behind the main character in the movie “The Insider” taught at this high school, and parts of the movie were filmed there as well.
Louisiana: Neville High School, Monroe
Maine: Deering High School, Portland
Maryland: Baltimore City College, Baltimore
Massachusetts: Fairhaven High School, Fairhaven
Michigan: Grosse Pointe South High School, Grosse Pointe Farms
Style: Georgian Revival
Claim to fame: Built on swampland, the original school building had to be put on floating foundations to support the weight of its marble and limestone building materials.
Minnesota: Hibbing High School, Hibbing
Mississippi: Columbia High School, Columbia
Style: European modernism
Claim to fame: The striking white structure was a Works Progress Administration project.
Missouri: Central High School, Springfield
Montana: Great Falls High School, Great Falls
Style: Collegiate Gothic
Claim to fame: It was considered cutting edge when built in the 1930s.
Nebraska: Lincoln High School, Lincoln
Nevada: Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, Las Vegas
New Hampshire: Spaulding High School, Rochester
Style: Georgian Revival
Claim to fame: Inspired by Harvard, the high school was at one point relocated to a newer building before being returned to the historic building.
Alternate Most Beautiful Public High School: Concord High School
New Jersey: Columbia High School, Maplewood
Style: Gothic Revival
Claim to fame: Started in 1815, though this architectural beauty dates back to only 1927.
Alternate Most Beautiful Public High School: Bayonne High School
New Mexico: Volcano Vista High School, Albuquerque
New York: The International Preparatory School, Buffalo
Style: Colonial/Georgian Revival
Claim to fame: Once known as Grover Cleveland High School, the school is designed with rich detail.
Alternate: High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture
North Carolina: Roanoke Rapids High School, Roanoke Rapids
North Dakota: Grand Forks Central High School, Grand Forks
Claim to fame: The oldest North Dakota high school is knows as “The Grand Old Lady.”
Ohio: Withrow University High School, Cincinnati
Style: Northern and Southern colonial
Claim to fame: The school has a 114-foot clock tower and a bridge, the latter of which supporters saved from demolition in the 1980s.
Alternate: Hughes STEM High School
Oklahoma: Will Rogers High School, Tulsa
Oregon: Roosevelt High School, Portland
Pennsylvania: Reading Senior High School, Reading
Claim to fame: Another “Castle on the Hill,” it cost a whopping $1.65 million back in 1927 when it opened.
Alternate: Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School
Rhode Island: Westerly High School, Westerly
South Carolina: York Comprehensive High School, York
Style: Contemporary classic
Claim to fame: This sprawling, 2010 high school campus was built for 2,000 students.
South Dakota: Hot Springs High School, Hot Springs
Tennessee: Montgomery Central High School, Cunningham
Texas: El Paso High School, El Paso
Claim to fame: Besides being a grand old building, this high school also has a landmark stadium.
Utah: Ogden High School, Ogden
Style: Art Deco
Claim to fame: The Works Progress Administration building was the first million dollar high school, according to the Utah Heritage Foundation.
Alternate: East High School (Salt Lake City)
Vermont: Peoples Academy, Morristown
Claim to fame: The signature building sits on a hill and was completed in 1929.
Virginia: John Handley High School, Winchester
Style: Neoclassical Revival
Claim to fame: Beautiful building plus beautiful grounds designed by a famous landscape architect.
Alternate: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Washington: Stadium High School, Tacoma
Style: French chateau
Claim to fame: The “10 Things I Hate About You” high school is a waterfront, castle-like campus with a stadium with a view.
Alternate: Marysville Getchell High School
West Virginia: Parkersburg High School, Parkersburg
Claim to fame: Swampy land meant students used a boardwalk to get into school prior to area drainage.