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Read more about the importance of the Hill School in Birmingham's history.

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A Part of Birmingham's History: The Hill School 
The Hill School was built in 1869, and was the pride of Birmingham schools at the time: well-built and large enough to educate the children of a thriving community. It was designed like a super-sized version of a one room school house, with all the grades under one roof, from kindergarten through twelfth grade.  At first it was called the Union School, but very soon it became known as the Hill School. It took its name from the Reverend Samuel Hill of Birmingham's Presbyterian Church, who had provided private education for the town's young people for many years, including famous residents like Martha Baldwin and Harry Allen.  

Hill School The Hill School originally stood on the corner of Chester and Merrill Streets, where the Baldwin Apartments are now located.   A large bell was cast in 1902 and placed in a cupola (bell tower) atop the building to call the students to class and dismiss them, becoming a part of every school day for all students and faculty. But by 1912, the burgeoning population of Birmingham led to a momentous decision: to build a separate elementary school, which became Barnum Elementary.  After that, the Hill School was used only as a high school until it closed in 1917 as the next big thing in schools--Baldwin High School--was ready to open.
The Birmingham Board of Education offices then moved into the building and occupied it for many years, but ultimately needed better arrangements. Eventually, after new administrative offices were built, the old Hill School building became obsolete.  In 1969—one hundred years after it was built—the building was demolished.  School administrators saved the bell, however, and displayed it in their new building.  But in 2007, the bell had to find a new home again.  It was donated to the Birmingham Museum, and in 2016, it was installed in an outdoor protective structure in a prominent place on the museum site. Read more about the project and the bell's re-dedication.