|The History of Chicago Spalding High School
Chicago (population: 2.8 million) is the nation’s third largest city that grew quickly within its first 100 years. It was the fastest growing city in the US during the second half of the 19th Century, even with a great fire in 1871 that wiped out a good portion of the city, and after rebuilding, it annexed numerous communities such as Woodlawn, Roseland, Englewood, Lake, Rogers Park, Humboldt Park, Forrestville, and Pilsen into its boundaries.
Interstates 55, 57, 90, and 94 will take you to the city, along with other highways with state and US designations, train service, and air travel to/from O’Hare International Airport as well as Midway Airport, both of which serve many travelers daily. From it’s founding in 1803 and even still today, the city possesses an eclectic feel with its numerous cultures and history that distinguishes the community from others world-wide.
Spalding High School was founded in 1908. It was the first school in Chicago created specifically for children with disabilities. At that time the concept for Spalding High School was considered very progressive, possibly being one of the first schools built specifically for kids with disabilities in the country. The school was named for Jesse Spalding, a well-known businessman from Chicago in the late 1800s.
Spalding High School enjoyed two major renovations, in 1928 and 1941. The school continued being utilized solely for children with disabilities until 1991 when the first students without physical disabilities began attending. The Chicago Public School system was pressured to conduct major renovations on the school in the early 2000s. With the prevailing theory that it was best to mainstream students with disabilities, it was decided to close Spalding High School. The final graduation ceremony was held on June 16, 2004. The school is now utilized as Hope Institute of Learning.
An excellent newspaper article regarding the history of Spalding High School can be viewed on the Chicago Tribune website at
Thank you to Aaron Garner for the submission of Spalding High School.
Chicago Spalding High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1908
Year closed: 2004
Address: 1628 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago
Building now used as: Hope Institute Learning Academy
Spalding HS team nickname: “Bulldogs”
Spalding HS team colors: unavailable
Spalding HS Fight Song: unavailable