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The old and new Lincoln School


In 1892 a magnificent building was erected on what now Lincoln Street in the village of Pittsford.

Standing three stories high with arched brick windows and a massive bell tower, it was the first high school for the town and village. The front façade read "Union School."

This school cost $12,000 to build and had a massive library and laboratory on the third floor. It housed 400 school children from kindergarten through high school for the next 22 years. In 1916, however this beautiful building met its fate. It was a destroyed in an early morning fire and damage was estimated at $25,000. The cause of the fire was never determined.

Shortly after, work began on the new Lincoln School. As of April 18, 1917, the new school was almost completely rebuilt and ready for use. Anew baseball field was installed at the school, which was situated where the lower portion of Sutherland Street now exists. The school continued to be the only school for the village of Pittsford and the surrounding town for the next 35 years.

Many local residents have fond memories of the Lincoln School. Village Clerk Anne Hartsig recalled that "those years were happy days... they were fun." Her father Ross Zornow, who was town supervisor from 1961 until 1966, was a student in the school as well. Her grandfather also attended the school prior to that.

Resident Bob Place attended the school from K-12 and feels that it was and still is a very charming one. His wife Pat attended from 7-12. Mr. Place said that somehow they all fit very cozily into the school with a graduating class of just 30 or so people.

Eventually, the Lomb farm was purchased by the Pittsford Central School District for construction of the new high school. In 1952 Sutherland High School was built to accommodate growing numbers of students. The Lincoln School was put to use in other ways. Many of us know the school as the Spiegel Community Center or recreation center for the town of Pittsford. This was named in honor of Town Supervisor Paul Spiegel, who served from Feb. 21, 1966 until the end of 1987.

The building is much the same on the inside as it once was with original sliding chalkboards and built in cupboards for supplies. One other thing has not changed. Children still swarm to the building in numbers.

Each summer there are summer camps filled with preschoolers, ballet classes, exercise classes, day care facilities and many others. The builders would be proud to know that the building still stands and serves children in much the same way it always has.