City leaders tried for years to fund a public school. Their efforts finally produced the West End Graded School, which was dedicated in 1884. The school was called the “Crowning Glory of Winston.”
The school (shown above) was located on West Fourth Street near Broad Street, and was known for its outstanding library. The book collection later formed the nucleus of the Carnegie Library.
West End Primary School was built around the corner in 1911, and another high school was constructed on Cherry Street in 1908.
When the West End Graded School was no longer used as a school, it was used for administrative offices for the school system and for the rationing board during World War II.
Sears, Roebuck and Company was located on Trade Street, but wanted to build a larger store. The company purchased the block where the school was located, and began to demolish the school in 1947. Sears (shown above) opened at this location in 1949.
When Sears, Roebuck and Company moved to Hanes Mall, the building was used by Wachovia Bank as its West End Center (shown above).
During the demolition, the weathervane was removed from the school rubble. Frank Jones purchased the weathervane and donated it to the Wachovia Museum.
Black and white photos courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection. Color photo by Molly Grogan Rawls.