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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

138-5001 John Handley High School

John Handley High School
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

NRHP Reference Number 98001070

John Handley High School is listed in the registers for its local historic significance as well as its prominence as an architectural landmark. Built between 1921 to 1923, the school is located on a 40-acre tract in the city of Winchester. Handley was born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland. He immigrated to the United States by 1850. After taking his law degree from Columbia University, he developed a close friendship with Winchester resident James Jifkins and visited the town frequently, eventually buying several large tracts in the area. Upon Judge Handley’s death in 1895, the town received $250,000 from his estate to build a library and school. Unusual for its private endowment, Handley High School was designed by architect Walter R. McCornack of Cleveland, Ohio. McCornack, well known for his school designs in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, later became the dean of the School of Architecture at MIT in 1939. The grounds and building siting was the design of the Olmsted Brothers of Boston, Massachusetts. The National Register nomination form was prepared by Handley High School’s 11th grade students with assistance from Department of Historic Resources staff. The students’ efforts were part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the institution.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated April 4, 2018