obit in the Times to see where the Chicago native went to high school. Mount Carmel? St. Rita? DePaul? But after some digging I found out that Farina attended St. Michael Central High School (above), which closed in 1978. How come I had never heard of this place? (My emphasis.)
St. Michael's Central High School,
the Old Town section of Chicago at
North and Hudson Avenues (near Wells Street), was opened as a two-year,
parish school with a commercial
program in 1887. Instead of being a co-educational school (with boys and
girls attending classes
together), each gender was educated
at separate ends of the building. The boys were under the direction of
the Brothers of
Mary, and the girls were taught by
the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
educational focus changed from commercial to academic in 1923,
by which time there were four years
of classes for boys (which started in 1919), and the girls section
became four years in
1924. A new building was also opened
in 1928, which coincided with the designation of being a central high
school for Catholic
students on the north side of the
Chicago River, just west of Lincoln Park.
Michael Central's enrollment was steady during the 1950's and
1960's, reaching 754 in 1967, but it
dwindled to 575 by 1973, which may have the reason that the school
became co-ed in the
fall of 1976. It was not enough to
save the school, due to the increasing operating expenses that mounted
and the deteriorating
condition of the building, and St.
Michael Central closed its doors in the spring of 1978 after having 468
school gym was torn down some time later, but the majority
of the school was renovated and
became the home of luxury condominiums inside the Old Town Triangle,
which has received both
city and National Landmark Status.
There is a street just west of Hudson and north of North Avenue that is
Michaels Court that pays tribute to
the fact that the school existed nearby.