Saint Vincent de Paul School

Saint Vincent de Paul School, 643 Virginia St. The school’s groundbreaking was in November 1900. The school opened in July 1901, with 190 children. Four Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet, who lived at St. Joseph’s Academy, made up the first teaching staff.

One account of the school’s dedication in September 1902 describes it as “an imposing structure three stories high, [standing] in spacious grounds, large enough, after providing ample playground for the children, to afford an enclosed park prettily laid out in greensward and flower beds eight classrooms with a seating capacity of 500, an ornamental fountain in the middle of the playground." Parish histories note that Father Laurence Cosgrove was instrumental in getting the school built.

The school was extensively damaged by fire in the 1910s but was rebuilt by the parish. Father Timothy Crowley led the reconstruction efforts.

The school was extensively redecorated in 1952, with features including glass block windows and what were described as “plastic-topped desks.”

The school’s enrollment neared the 400-pupil mark in the 1920s but declined by the 1960s. Saint Vincent’s last class graduated in 1970. The school building was occupied for several years in the 1970s and 1980s by the Red School House, a school for Native American children and then by New Spirit School. It is now occupied by the upper grades of Saint Paul City School and has been enlarged in recent years.