Hume-Fogg Academic High School

Hume Gothic

The imposing Gothic Revival Hume-Fogg Academic High School occupies the block of Broadway between Rosa Parks Boulevard and 7th Avenue in Nashville.  Architects William B. Ittner and Robert S. Sharp designed the four-story building constructed of native white stone by George Moore & Sons contractors (The Tennessean,  Sept. 8, 1912, p. 3).  The cost was $400,000.

The school opened in September 1912 with “nearly 1,100 students” and could accommodate up to 1400 pupils.  Prof. J. H. Patterson was the principal.  The new Hume-Fogg high school was built on the site of the earlier Hume school, the first public school in Nashville.  Hume was named for Alfred Hume, considered the father of public education in Nashville.  Hume was asked to compile an investigation into public schools and his resulting plans were the basis of public education in Nashville.  The cornerstone for the first Hume school was laid in 1853 (The Tennessean, Jan. 25, 1916, p. 79).

The photograph of the entrance by EVula shows the intricate detail of the building which still serves Nashville students as one of two magnet high schoolsThe other is the historic Pearl Street school, now known as Martin Luther King, Jr. magnet high school.


EVula [CC BY 3.0 (, from Wikimedia Commons

The Fogg of Hume-Fogg was B. J. Fogg, the first president of the Nashville Board of Education.  Hume’s son, Alfred Hume, would continue his father’s legacy in higher education by becoming the first chancellor to possess an earned doctorate at the University of Mississippi.  He served two terms as chancellor, served as acting chancellor three times, and taught mathematics and astronomy.

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8 Responses to Hume-Fogg Academic High School

  1. Connie Simmons says:

    Hi Suzassippi!   I was reading the book “A Mockingbird Next Door” about Harper Lee and there’s a mention in the book about the Monroeville post office being a WPA building with a mural inside. Thought you might want to know if you didn’t already. Enjoy all of your Lottabusha County Cronicles. Mr. Connie Simmons!


  2. That’s an amazing looking building.


  3. Pat_H says:

    It’s interesting how many high schools of this period had this castle like appearance. I’ve read that’s because they were attempting to emulate the appearance of British “public” (i.e., private) schools, which had that appearance for historic reasons.


    • Suzassippi says:

      There is no denying that the European influence in architecture was strong, and definitely reflected the trends of the time. The US was always just a little behind what was fashionable in Europe, and [gasp!] when a new style was introduced, it was not always met with fanfare.
      You raise an intriguing point about the appearance of British schools, though–sounds like fodder for research.


  4. Sheryl says:

    The high school is impressive even today. It must have seemed very modern in the 1910’s. This was the era when there was a movement away from the smaller classical high schools towards larger 4-year general high schools that offered a wider range of courses and different tracks (academic, commercial, home economics, etc.).


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