Chicago (population: 2.8 million) is the nation's third largest city that grew quickly
within its first 100 years. From it's founding in 1803 and even still today, the city possesses an eclectic feel with
its numerous cultures and history that distinguishes the community from others world-wide. Even after a great fire in
1871, Chicago pulled itself up by its bootstraps and rebuilt itself, then annexed other smaller communities such as Hyde Park,
Englewood, Lake, and many others.
The people of the city of Chicago have always strived to provide the best possible opportunities for the
education of their children. This is true of both the private and public education systems. Lucy Flower High School was
a public school created for a special purpose. The following history of Lucy Flower High School
is copied verbatum:
"History of Lucy Flower High School"
"In 1911 Lucy Flower Technical High School opened as Chicago's first open-enrollment
school for girls. It was named after a leading education activist of the late 1800s, Lucy Louisa Flower,
who was also the co-founder of the Illinois School for Nursing.
Ella Flag Young. a supporter of Miss Flower's educational philosophy, was Chicago's first
woman General Superintendent of Schools from 1909 - 1915. The school was headed for twenty-two years by the city's first woman
high school principal, Dora Wells. Flagg organized the all-girls school to help young
women gain specific skills to help them enter the work force, just like boys were being trained to do at Crane Tech &
Students could enroll a four-year home economics course which included college preparatory work, while
there was also a two-year course for vocational studies such as sewing, dressmaking, and millnery that were close to skills
that were displayed by females during the early part of the 20th Century.
Initially, the school was located on the south side of Chicago in the former South Division High School building at the corner of 26th Street and Wabash Avenue, offering skill development in the
areas of sewing, teaching, nursing, and social work. In 1927, the school was relocated to the East Garfield Park Community.
Flower had become known for providing good education to women. After the school relocated to 3545 W. Fulton Avenue
on the city's West Side, African-American enrollment first declined. However, the school continued to attract girls from
the South Side of Chicago due to its open enrollment policy.
Flower remained a technical school until 1956, at which time it was renamed Flower Vocational
High School. The school then offered programs in Business Education, Commercial Art, Home Economics, Beauty
Culture, and Cosmetology.
Legal mandates in the 1970s required the school to become coeducational. With a co-ed population the school
continued to teach vocational skills to both young men and young women. Student run businesses developed. These
were the Flower Pot Cafe', the Flower Cart, a Credit Union, and Megabytes, which was a computer-generated design graphics
The school was renamed Lucy Flower Career Academy High School in 1995.
In 1999 the last freshman class entered the high school. Flower was closed in 2003, after the last class graduated."
There is good news about the building...it is still used as a high school for Al Raby School for Community
Lucy Flower Vocational High School Quick Facts
Year closed: 2003
Athletic team nickname: the "Foxes"
Team uniform colors: Brown & Gold
School Fight Song: (sung to "On Wisconsin" tune)