Longwood Schoolhouse

This building was constructed around 1883 (some reports say as early as 1876) and served as Longwood’s community school until 1924, when Milwee Middle School (then Lyman School) was built south of town. It was a simple wood-framed two room schoolhouse. Originally it was an unpainted wood building in a “dogtrot” style with an open air hallway between the two classrooms, which provided an early form of air conditioning.

After 1924 the building was converted to be used as Longwood’s City Hall. The city lowered the floor on the north half of the building and replaced the windows with garage bay doors, in order to use it as the town’s earliest fire station. It served as the Town Hall until 1964 when the current City Hall was constructed on Warren Avenue.

It then sat vacant for a decade until Tom Pratt purchased it and fixed it up in 1971. (more info) Pratt used it as the office headquarters for his restaurant chain called Gringo’s Mexican Restaurants (as well as other businesses). The northern section was used as warehouse space and storage for some of his antique cars. Pratt also regularly opened the building for tours and had restored the center hallway to mimic a period classroom. In 1979 a fire broke out in the garage section and the building was badly damaged by a fire in 1979 (more info).

In 1984 it was sold by Pratt to Sid Roche Jr., who did extensive renovation and removed the garage portion to more resemble its original form. With the garage removed, the entire building became office space (more info). It continues to be used for that purpose today.

Some say it looks like a mini version of the Longwood Hotel. The buildings were constructed about the same time and in the same general style. The building was painted red in typical schoolhouse style until 1984.