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Columbia school was built by the citizens of Columbia in 1892. The original structure faced Rainier Ave. on 37th between Ferdinand St and Edmunds St. Two teachers taught 85 students on the first floor while the second story was completed. Columbia School became part of the Seattle School District in 1907. In 1922 the original building was torn down and replaced. Enrollment surged during WWII with the influx of families at nearby Rainier Vista Housing and peaked in 1958 with 847 students. Seattle Public Schools continues to own and operate the building.

This site where the modern Columbia building now stands was home to the oldest school in rainier valley. Originally a one story building with 80 students and a bell tower in 1892, in 1922 the modern building was constructed. It was not built onto of the old plot directly, rather where the playground now stands is where the original building used to be. This was designed by Floyd Naramore of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who also became the Seattle school district architect in 1919.. This site is special as it is the only Mission Revival school within the entire Seattle School District.

National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Seattle Government. December 16th 2004. Accessed September 23rd 2020.