On this we are trying to compile a “definitive” history of O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy. This will become a living classroom exercise as our third grade students become archivists, researchers and historians discovering our Chicago history. Please visit often as this section will surely grow with time.
By the way, the old Chicago Public Schools Alumni Site was taken down. However, by going by using the Internet “Wayback Machine” you can still visit the old site. There were a number of alumni who had registered, we do not have those names anymore. If you are interested in registering with our site and helping us learn more about O.A. Thorp when you attended please let us know by leaving a comment below. Thank you for visiting us “virtually” if you are interested in physically visiting Thorp Scholastic Academy – our tours are on the third Thursday of each month at 1:30PM. We would love to have you come. Reunion information can also be disseminated via our site if your class is interested in getting together.
Principal O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy
Thorp, Ole Anton (1856-1905) Ole Anton Thorp was born in Eidsberg, Norway. He came to Minneapolis in 1879 before settling in Chicago a year later. In Chicago he founded his import-export business, Ole A. Thorp and Company, and was subsequently the first to conceive and put into practice the idea of direct shipments by water between Chicago and Europe. Thorp was knighted by King Oscar of Sweden for his work as a representative of Sweden in the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. He was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board of Education. Below is a description of Mr. Thorp from the Dedication Ceremonies of the Columbian Exposition
Here are the words of O.A. Thorp about the settling of Alaska in a Congressional Dept. of the Interior report. Click the image below:
Take a look at OA Thorp’s life history from A History of the Norwegians in Illinois
“Old” O.A. Thorp School (1905-1914)
Located at: 2701 West Foster Avenue in the Lincoln Square community. (The building was renamed Bowmanville School then Lyman Budlong Elementary School http://www.budlongschool.com)
1918 – Ole A. Thorp Elementary School moves to its present location on Warwick and the old O.A. Thorp school building officially becomes Budlong Elementary School.
The architect who designed Thorp’s building in 1918 was Arthur Hussander (1865-1943). Mr. Hussander designed over 60 schools and he favored the classical style (thus Thorp’s columns). From Chicago’s Historic Schools: [Hussander’s] school designs include Lindblom Technical School; Senn High School; Carter Harrison Technical School (now Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy); and Bell, Herzl, Parkside, Peirce, Pope, Thorp, and Riis elementary schools.