Crow Island Elementary School
Square Footage: 47,579
Award of Excellence, 1975
School Product News and Association of School Business Officials
National 25-Year Award for Designs of Enduring Significance, 1971
The American Institute of Architects
Selection as 12th Most Significant Building in the Past 100 Years of Architecture in America, 1956
Crow Island Elementary School is a "landmark of design for education, which demonstrates that an inspired educational philosophy can be translated into an architecture of continuing function and beauty." —The American Institute of Architects.
The school was the first of its type to be zoned by age group with four classroom wings surrounding a common activity core. Each classroom is a self-contained unit; an L-shaped space with its own workroom, outdoor study/play courtyard, restrooms, sink and drinking fountain. These learning environments foster creative curricula and warm communities by design.
More than 70 years after the school was opened, it remains one of the most imaginatively and effectively designed educational facilities of our time.
Designed in collaboration with Eliel and Eero Saarinen, the school helped to establish our reputation as an innovative and sensitive school architect. In the spirit of observation and responsive design, Larry Perkins spent significant time in the classroom, observing teachers, students and learning to inform the shape of Crow Island. Time and use have proven the enduring significance of the school's design, which was recognized with an American Institute of Architects' Twenty-Five Year Award, an honor bestowed only once previously and the only time to a public education building.
News + Media
- Ahoy, Chicago! Perkins+Will Projects in the Windy City From our Ideas+Buildings Blog [Blog]
- Perkins Follies: The Case for Moments of Diversion and Fun in Architecture (and Film) From our Ideas+Buildings Blog [Blog]
- DesignShare Interview with former Crow Island Principal Beth Hebert [Publications]
- Video: Remembering Crow Island [News]