1. Edmonds High School

Edmonds High School

Eileen Nicholson1955

The first high school within a 20-mile territory was a two-story brick, classical revival structure built in downtown Edmonds. When the cornerstone was laid on November 30, 1909, speeches noted the majestic beauty of the site with its sweeping view of Puget Sound that “no artist has yet been able to reproduce, no hand of man can ever obliterate, and it is free to us from this spot for all time.”

Edmonds was booming in the first part of the 20th century, and by 1920 the school was expanded to serve the growing number of students. In 1939 the school’s capacity was increased to 750 students with a new Public Works-funded Art Moderne addition, including offices, a larger gym, and full size auditorium with balcony. As the community continued to grow, a new high school was built a mile east of downtown and the former site became Edmonds Junior High in 1957.

The junior high school moved to a new building in the mid 1970s and Puget Sound Christian College acquired the property, but the theatrical stage continued to be available for community use by local arts organizations, such as the Cascade Symphony and the Olympic Ballet. In 2001, the Edmonds Public Facilities District purchased the site to develop a regional arts center. Creation of the arts center focused on preserving the 1939 auditorium and necessitated removing the 1909 structure to make way for parking and other amenities. Named the Edmonds Center for the Arts, the building re-opened in 2006. It preserves many features of the 1939 auditorium including graffiti in the stage wingsfrom generations of students, and the memories of all of the people who danced, acted, or played instruments on the stage.

 Newspaper clipping courtsey of Elaine Nicholson, pictures at Edmonds high school in 1955.  



 About the Artist-Made Plaque 

old hs plaque f96ca

This plaque is representative of a puppet theater. The bronze castings decorating the panel include a finial at the top, inspired by the terra cotta detailing on the building's entryways. A pair of ballet slippers with their trailing ribbons and the set of comedy/tragedy masks reference the modern day purpose the building has as a performing arts center. 

Tour Information

The Edmonds Stages of History Tour is a walking tour of significant sites that mark twelve different aspects in Edmonds' development. A unique artist-made plaque identifies each site on the tour. We invite you to explore Edmonds history at each location. Photographs on this website are courtesy of the Edmonds Historical Museum, unless otherwise noted. Descriptions of Edmonds history for the Stages of History panels and the website include information from copyrighted articles by Larry Vogel, originally published in the original Patch online newspaper, Edmonds: The First Century by Archie Satterfield (1990), and Edmonds: The Gem of Puget Sound by Ray V. Cloud (1983), and use restrictions apply. Other information sources include individual interviews and information supplied by the Edmonds Historical Museum.  Please contact the City of Edmonds Arts Office at 425-771-0228 with any corrections to information on the website or for inquiries regarding specific sources of copyrighted material.  

Contact Us

The City of Edmonds Arts Commission 
ph. 425-771-0228

Visit the Edmonds Arts Commission's Website 
email: eac@edmondswa.gov

The City of Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission
Visit the Historic Preservation Commission's Website 

The Edmonds Historical Museum 
Visit the Edmonds Historical Museum's Website