1. Edmonds High School

Edmonds High School plaque


The theme of the “stage” is clearly evident in the puppet theater design of the Edmonds High School marker. Bronze castings decorating the panel include a finial inspired by terra cotta detailing on the building's entryways. A pair of ballet slippers and the set of thespian masks reference the current use of the building as a performing arts center. 

The first high school within a 20-mile territory was a two-story brick, classical revival structure. When the cornerstone was laid on November 30, 1909, speeches noted the majestic beauty of the site with its sweeping view of Puget Sound that “no artist has yet been able to reproduce, no hand of man can ever obliterate, and it is free to us from this spot for all time.” 

 Edmonds was booming in the first part of the 20th century, and by 1920 the school was expanded to serve the growing number of students. In 1939 the school’s capacity was increased to 750 students with a new Public Works-funded Art Moderne addition, including offices, a larger gym, and full size auditorium with balcony. As the community continued to grow, a new high school was built a mile east of downtown and the former site became Edmonds Junior High in 1957.

The junior high school moved to a new building in the mid 1970s and Puget Sound Christian College acquired the property, but the theatrical stage continued to be available for community use by local arts organizations, such as the Cascade Symphony and the Olympic Ballet. 

In 2001, the Edmonds Public Facilities District purchased the site to develop a regional arts center. Creation of the arts center focused on preserving the 1939 auditorium and necessitated removing the 1909 structure to make way for parking and other amenities. Named the Edmonds Center for the Arts, the building re-opened in 2006. It preserves many features of the 1939 auditorium including graffiti in the stage wings from generations of students, and the memories of all of the people who danced, acted, or played instruments on the stage.