|The History of Chicago Flower Vocational High School
Chicago (population: 2.8 million) is located along the shores of Lake Michigan in northeastern Illinois. From its early days as a Potawatomie settlement, then as the site of Fort Dearborn in 1803, which led up to the formation of the city and its incorporation in 1833 and 1837, respectively, the “City of Big Shoulders” became a major location in the US for various reasons. Railroads and water transportation were two reasons why Chicago was one of the fastest growing cities in the country during the 19th Century.
Today, numerous railroads and highways of interstate, US, state, and local designations bring people together in the city on a daily basis, as does air traffic at O’Hare and Midway Airports. Chicago is a melting pot of people from many nationalities.
Aaron Garner submitted information regarding Flower Vocational High School. We do not have a large amount of information regarding Flower Vocational High School. We do know it was located at 3545 W. Fulton Blvd., on Chicago’s west side. The school was located directly across the street from the Garfield Park Conservatory. The web link of http://cct2.edc.org/SCIP_II/schools/flower.htm had this to say about Flower Vocational High School:
“Flower Vocational High School is an inner-city public high school located in the East Garfield Community on Chicago’s west side, directly across the street from the Garfield Park Conservatory (the largest conservatory under one roof in the world). The student population reflects the socio-economic makeup of the low income East Garfield community, and virtually 100 percent of the students are African-American. The school’s population has increased from 469 at the beginning of the 1990-1991 school year to more than 700 at the beginning of the 1993-1994 school year. In the last few years, Flower has developed new programs designed to move the school toward its goal of restructuring and to provide a quality education for all students.
We have been a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) since 1990. The nine common CES principles guide everything we do. Our students focus on entrepreneurship and community economic development by operating one of six on-site businesses and one off-site business. Our teacher-coaches prepare our student-workers for the real-world of work.”
Our best guess is that Flower Vocational was established in the fall of 1990, possibly in the 1980s however. Flower Vocational continued to serve the community around it until it was closed after the 2002-03 school year. The school building re-opened in the fall of 2003 as Chicago Raby High School. The building continues to serve in this capacity today.
Flower Vocational High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1990(?)
Year closed: 2003
Address: 3545 W. Fulton Blvd., Chicago
School bldg now used as: Al Raby High School
Flower Vocational HS nickname: “Olympians”
Flower Vocational HS colors: Brown & Gold
Flower Vocational HS Fight Song: (needed)