Volusia Avenue School


Architect's watercolor rendering of Volusia Avenue School 1925

Architect’s watercolor rendering of Volusia Avenue School 1925



640 Volusia Avenue

Daytona Beach, Florida

Built 1926

Demolished c1988

This Florida (Mediterranean Revival) style designed by Architect Wm J. Carpenter AIA was built in Daytona Beach on Volusia Avenue, the main road running through the center of Daytona west of the Halifax River and U.S. 1, in 1926. The school was “…a two-story stucco-on-hollow tile building. It originally had 12 classrooms, a small library, an administrative suite and a storeroom. An auditorium was added in 1929.”

The building was continually in use until 1988 when Bethune Cookman College bought the property to expand its campus and the building was torn down. A new building for the college has since been constructed on the site.

It is ironic that Mr. Carpenter’s last designed and one of the most modern schools had to be torn down to make way for new development. There is no record of any design faults or shortcomings-only that it was in the wrong place due to changing population distribution and had to give way to “expansion”.

The following from the Board minutes of July 15, 1926 is interesting because of the apparent change in the Building Department requirements. “…Mr. Leo Alsheimer, the contractor on the Volusia Avenue school building at Daytona and the architect, Mr. Bent, reported that the building department at Daytona would not permit the use of wooden floor joists in the corridor. It was estimated that the cost of removing the wooden joists and replacing with metal lumber would be approximately $2,200.00. Mr. Alsheimer was authorized to make the change…”  Southern yellow pine joists had been accepted for all other schools designed by Carpenter and Bent up to this time. It also is one of the first references to Francis H. Bent as architect as he represented Carpenter and Bent in late 1926 before the Board.

Mr. Carpenter must have particularly favored this school. The artists rendering of it is the only painting of one of his designed schools in the paintings collection.

If you have any information about this subject that you think may be of interest to other readers please leave a comment below.









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