Historic Schools – Cooper


Built in 1893

Named For:

Peter Cooper (Feb 12, 1791 – April 4, 1883) was an American industrialist, inventor, philanthropist, and politician. He designed and built the first American steam locomotive, the Tom Thumb, founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and served as the Greenback Party’s candidate in the 1876 presidential election. He was a patron of liberal and industrial education, and in 1854 founded the Cooper Institute in New York City.

peter cooper
Peter Cooper, 1791 – 1883

Location: Between Wyoming Ave and Pennsylvania Ave; Between 18th St and 19th St

map of cooper school footprint over the years
Click image for Google map

photo of the original cooper school


Cooper and Bryant schools were both constructed in 1893 and appear to have used the same or similar plans. Cooper would be expanded with an addition in 1903, nearly doubling in square footage. Not only was Superior building modern schools in 1893, several modern policies were also being put in place. While teachers in other districts waited for parents to purchase needed text books, Superior offered free text books to all students; undoubtedly one cause of the growing enrollment in Superior schools.

Special Uses:

Keeping pace with progress in education, a Junior High was organized and housed in Cooper in September of 1918. A library in the school at that time contained 750 books on a wide range of subjects, including fiction and non-fiction.


A gymnasium addition was built in 1926. Cooper was replaced by a new building in 1970 with a modern and unique layout of open pods. In 2019 the third school named Cooper was completed on the same site.

cooper school addition