Cornelius Hedges School
East Side Historic District
Kalispell architect Fred Brinkman, whose versatility is evident in many local buildings, designed this 1929 elementary school in a style reminiscent of the colonial mansions and homesteads of Maryland and Virginia. The original “open plan” was intended to allow a maximum of sunlight and fresh air into all classrooms and halls. An open-air porch and twin chimneys enhanced the “homelike façade” while interior domestic features included a library with beamed ceilings and fireplace. In the kindergarten room, a cozy fireplace and alcove with miniature inglenook seats added to the homey atmosphere. South Side School, as it was originally called, was the first in Kalispell to have its own gymnasium, which it shared with junior high school students during the 1930s. Built by B. B. Gilliland of Kalispell for $96,000, the school was paid for by bonds. In 1940, South Side School was renamed for Cornelius Hedges, the territorial superintendent of schools, who came to be known as the “father of education” in Montana.