Many buildings in this style had one or more towers as part of the design, at the base of which would be an entrance to the building. It is characterized by a boxy arrangement of squares and rectangles, usually topped by the decorated Mansard roof which is the moniker of the style. The style was favored for buildings of this sort not only because it was then fashionable in appearance, but because it allowed for large, rather open rooms, and easily accommodated large windows. In this instance, it is likely that the city fathers were attracted to this form because, sitting atop the highest spot in the city, it would make a statement about the importance of education in the overall plan, and would assist in demonstrating the cultural sophistication of the community.
The building, heated by steam and lighted by gas. contained twenty rooms and had room for 600 pupils. The lower floor was occupied by eighth-grade pupils, and the two upper floors by high school students. The office of the superintendent was located on the first floor of the tower. The Kent Scientific Institute, the forerunner of the Public Museum, occupied several recitation rooms.
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