The State of Kentucky operated the first school in the city of Ludlow. These
original classes were held on the first floor of the Christian Church
at the corner of Elm and Locust Streets.
When the city was incorporated in 1864, town officials established a school
district under the supervision of city government. In 1867, the first
school board was elected in Ludlow. The members were: Fred Gottlieb, C.W.
Harwood, and Levi Bavis. In the following year, however, the city decided
that the school could no longer be financed. No classes were held during the 1868-1869 school year.
In 1869, Ludlow voters approved a $3,000.00 bond issue to build a school
building and to ensure classes would be conducted. In that same year,
work began on a new school building, which was on Linden Street in the
same year. The brick building had two classrooms measuring 30 by 45 feet.
In 1879, an addition was constructed to the building. A nearby cottage
was purchased by the board to use as additional classrooms in 1887.
William and Albert Ludlow donated a lot at the northwest corner of Oak and Adela Avenue for the construction of a new school building in 1895. The location was not a popular one with many Ludlow residents. Many felt the site was too close to the streetcar line and would be dangerous for those children walking to school. Others felt the site was too far from the central residential district of the town. Despite these objections, the lot was accepted by the city officials and the members of the school board.
The firm of Fasse and Company was chosen as the architects for the project. Plans called for a building measuring 90 by 120 feet with circular towers
at each corner. On June 29, 1895, the cornerstone of the new school was laid with impressive ceremonies. As the walls of the building reached the roofline, several disturbing cracks were noticed in the corner towers.
Following the inspection by an independent architect, it was determined
that the walls were not properly built. The walls of the towers had to
be removed and rebuilt. The building was dedicated on June 12, 1897. A
Cincinnati newspaper declared, "The new building has no equal in
the State of Kentucky in point of comfort, beauty, and general utility
for educational purposes."
In 1915, a second building was constructed to house the growing number of
pupils. That year, Ludlow voters passed at $30,000.00 bond issue to fund
the project. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Weber,
Werner and Adkins of Cincinnati. The 1915 building was used exclusively
for grades 7-12.
The current elementary school building was constructed in 1957. The building was dedicated to the memory of Mary A. Goetz, a long time Ludlow School teacher.
The beginning of Ludlow High School can be traced back to the year 1886.
The first graduation class, consisting of nine students, received their
diplomas in 1889. In 1932, the district built a separate building on Elm
Street to house the high school program. Architect F. J. Porter designed
the structure, which was constructed at the cost of $164,000.00.
new high school building was officially dedicated on April 30, 1932. (The
official name of the high school is George Washington Memorial High School).
The building contained 16 classrooms, an auditorium and a gymnasium. Each
classroom was equipped with a radio.
In 1937, Rigney stadium was constructed on the Ludlow riverfront. The
project was funded by the Works Progress Administration. The stadium was
officially dedicated on October 8, 1937. The need for more modern sports
facilities resulted in the construction of a new gymnasium in 1970. The
1,300-seat facility was built on a site near the elementary school on
Oak Street. In November 1975, the Ludlow High School football team defeated
Heath High School (7-6) to win the school's first state title.
1998, Ludlow School officials approved the establishment of a middle school
to replace the 6-6-grade formula that had been used for many years. A
new building was planned for the area between the high school and elementary
school buildings. By the summer of 1999, work on the new structure was
well underway. The year 1999 also witnessed the school's second state
athletic championship. That season, the girls' cross- country team brought
home the Class A state championship.
A foundation was established by the district in 2001. The main goal of
the Ludlow Educational Foundation was to raise funds to purchase new lighting
and a sound system for the school auditorium and to purchase new equipment
for the science labs.
Cincinnati Daily Gazette, September 30, 1869; Ludlow Centennial Souvenir
Program, 1864-1964, pp. 18-19; Bulletin of the Kenton County Historical
Society, August 1990; Kentucky Post, June 16, 1931, p. 13, April 23, 1932,
p. 1,April 17, 1932, p. 1, June 15, 1999, p.2k and November 21, 2001,
p. 2k; News Enterprise, April 16, 1970, p. 1 and December 4, 1975, p.
1; Kentucky Enquirer, December 13, 1998, p. B1B and October 25, 1999,