John Garin Rogers School
Located at 1247 West 13th Street and built in 1879, John Garin Rogers School, the first "Rogers School," was originally called the West 13th Street School. The name was changed on Wednesday, January 12, 1887 to honor Circuit Court Judge John Garin Rogers (1818-1887), deceased just two days.
John Garin Rogers was born in Glasgow, Kentucky on Monday, December 28, 1818. He graduated with a law degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky and practiced law for 18 years before coming to Chicago in 1857. He was elected to the Cook County Circuit Court in 1870 where he continued serving in the Circuit Court until his death on Monday, January 10, 1887.
On Sunday, March 16, 1930, Rogers School was listed in the Chicago Tribune (p. A5) as supposedly being on West Hastings Street, between South Throop Street and South Racine Avenue, which, when you look at a map, is in the same block as the 13th Street address.
On Sunday, September 1, 1935, the Chicago Tribune reported (p. W1) reported that the grounds of Rogers School would be rehabilitated, but that the building was not to be renovated. According to Charles Spaulding Winslow’s book, Outline History of Chicago Public Schools, (Soderlund Printing Service, Chicago, 1939. Pp 506-507), the school was closed for good during the summer of 1935.
Apparently either the Chicago Tribune or Winslow’s book is in error.
The land lay fallow for a decade. Then in 1945, the City's Bureau of Parks and Recreation created Fosco Park on the site of the Rogers School owned by Board of Education, to serve the growing population. The two-acre park included a playing field and a small brick recreation building. The city named the park for Peter Fosco (1894-1975), president of the Laborer's International Union of North America and former Cook County Board Commissioner. In 1959, the Chicago Park District assumed management of Fosco Park. At the turn of the 21st Century, Fosco Park's small brick recreation building and the adjacent community center were razed and a new state-of-the-art facility was erected at 1312 South Racine Avenue. The 80,000 square-foot Community Center opened in Summer 2005.
See also: Philip Rogers School