As Park City's silver mines attracted great numbers of permanent residents in the late nineteenth century, school enrollment correspondingly increased. Thus three "presidential" schools were built; Washington School in 1889, Jefferson School in 1891, and Lincoln School in 1895. The At a modest cost of $13,000, Washington School was built of hammered limestone quarried in neighboring Peoa.
The building withstood the massive Park City fire of 1898, which leveled much of this part of Park City and continued to serve the community's educational needs until 1931. After that time, it was used by the Veteran of Foreign Wars for dances and social events until the 1950s when it was vacated. After many years of abandonment, the building's ownership changed hands in the early 1980s and extensive renovation efforts began.
While the 1980s renovation likely saved the building from demolition, there were parts of the project that distracted from the historic feel. The most recent rehabilitation at Washington School reversed these insensitive alterations, including cutting the interior space in half so that the windows were obscured by an additional floor right in the middle. Restoration of the original sixteen-foot ceiling made the most noticeable difference in this project, allowing an abundance of natural light from unobstructed two-story windows. In addition, the exterior was again rehabilitated including an historical accurate wood shingle roof.
A major undertaking for anyone, the owners have taken great care to restore the building to its original appearance, and their efforts will keep the building a part of Park City's unique historic architecture for many years to come.
Utah Heritage Foundation presented PCE, LLC with a Heritage Award for the renovation and restoration of the Washington School House.