James R. Ludlow School was designed by Irwin T. Catharine and built in 1926-27. Catharine was Philadelphia’s principal school designer from 1918 to 1937/ and during this time he added 104 new buildings to replace 37 existing ones, added wings to 26 other schools, and improved over 50 others.
This 3-story brick building represents Late Gothic Revival-style, and contains many of the same details as originally set forth. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
The school was named for James R. Ludlow, who was was born in Albany, NY, on May 3, 1825. Ludlow graduated from Philadelphia’s University of Pennsylvania in July 1843. This visionary helped develop the distinction between medical and legal insanity, and was known for his honesty, impartiality, courage, and dedication to learning.
Photo taken in 1926, courtesy of the City of Philadelphia Department of Records.