|Exterior view of the Albert G. Lane School with a group of children standing on the sidewalk at one corner of the building. The school was located at the intersection of West Division and North Sedgwick Streets in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois. (1908)|
In 1929 a comprehensive music program was established at Lane. Chicago Symphony Orchestra director Frederick Stock and Superintendent William Bogan worked together in making up the new curriculum. By 1930 Lane had grown to a population of 7,000 students. To relieve the overcrowded conditions at the school, it was decided to build a new Lane Tech. Board of Education architect John C. Christensen began preparing plans for the world's foremost high school complex. On June 24, 1930 groundbreaking ceremonies took place at Western and Addison. (today's Lane Technical High School) The new building was a beautiful combination of function and art. Like the old Lane, it was designed to allow the teachers and pupils to work in a comfortable environment. On dedication day, September 17, 1934, 9000 boys marched from Cubs Park to the new school. Lane's new population required many new provisions. Classes had to be staged in three shifts, and commencement exercises were held at the International Amphitheater.
World War II provided Laneites with many opportunities to show the ideals of Albert G. Lane and his school. Many war drives were carried out by Lane students. These drives provided the war effort with four Red Cross ambulances, a B-17 Flying Fortress, and over 3 million dollars in war bonds. Lane's 50th anniversary in 1958 brought a very important change to the school. America, fearing the Soviet space supremacy, became preoccupied with establishing a sound space program. To aid in the education of scientists and engineers, Lane assumed a closed admission policy. The school dropped its remedial courses and took only the students that would make the greatest contributions to American science.
The year 1971 brought the most noticeable change in Lane's history. The Board of Education approved Superintendent James Redmond's recommendation to admit girls to Lane Tech. He cited a drop in enrollment and the lack of a technical school that admits girls as reasons for the change. The school was in a turmoil after this decision. Fifteen hundred Lane boys protested at the Board of Education. The general fear was that the school's quality would drop and within a few years Lane would be just another high school. Actually, the school's overall academic quality improved with the addition of girls.
ALBERT GRANNIS LANE
Born in a small, modest home in 1841 on what is now the corner of State and Van Buren Streets, Albert Grannis Lane made a permanent impression on Chicago and its people. Imbued with a strong work ethic, Mr. Lane took his first job at the age of seven.
Through his initiative and hard work, Albert G. Lane earned an appointment as the principal of the Franklin School just after his graduation from high school. Thus, at the age of seventeen, he became the youngest principal in the history of the Chicago Public Schools system. In 1869, Mr. Lane became Superintendent of the Cook County schools where he made many innovations to improve the quality of the public schools. During his long career, Mr. Lane also served as Superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools and President of the National Education Association.
Mr. Lane’s most cherished dream was the creation of a large high school dedicated to providing students with hands-on experiences in technical education while developing and enhancing their academic skills. Lane Technical High School is the realization of that dream.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.