Exploring the Windsor School

The Windsor School, located in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood, opened in 1888 but closed in 2004 after years of decline.

The Windsor School, an edifice nestled in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, was the vision of Henry E. Siter, manifested in brick and mortar in 1888. A subsequent addition, housing a gymnasium, was erected in 1918, expanding the school’s facilities.

As early as 1971, Windsor found itself on the ominous list of schools slated for replacement or closure, a consequence of inadequate wiring, faulty plumbing, overcrowded conditions, and substandard restroom facilities. Alarmingly, a mere eight toilets served the needs of 380 children and 27 teachers, a situation that would have appalled even the most hardened of sanitation engineers.

In June 2004, Windsor’s doors closed for the final time, a casualty of the Cincinnati Public School’s $1 billion, decade-long construction project, aimed at rehabilitating or rebuilding nearly every educational facility within the city limits. Declining enrollment precipitated the school’s merger with Douglass School, culminating in a relocation to a newly constructed $10.8 million complex at 2600 Kemper Road in 2006.

The fate of the venerable Windsor School seemed sealed when it was auctioned off in July 2009 to the John J. Schiff III Foundation, whose intentions were to breathe new life into the complex by transforming it into a haven for art glass studios, workshops, and the Neusole Glassworks gallery and offices. Alas, financing difficulties scuppered these noble plans, and the once-proud Windsor now stands vacant, a forlorn testament to the vicissitudes of time and circumstance.

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