The History of Chicago St. Barbara High School
Chicago (population 2.7 million) is located in northeastern Illinois in eastern Cook
County. Lake Michigan, the Chicago and Illinois Rivers, and the Des Plaines River are the main waterways to and from
town. I-90, I-94, I-55, and I-57 will all lead you to the "Windy City". From what started as a small village in
the early 1800's, Chicago has grown to the nation's third largest city and one of the most famous places in the world.
Chicago's many ethnic neighborhoods and religious factions have made it a real "melting pot" over the years.
The creation of St. Barbara parish and its subsequent high school were a part of this early development.
Two articles found on the internet provide a great overview and history of the St. Barbara Catholic parish
and high school. These articles can be viewed at the following addresses:
A summary of the information contained in the two articles is as follows:
St. Barbara catholic parish was conceived in 1909 in response to the growing Polish Catholic population
in Chicago's near south-side Bridgeport neighborhood. St. Barbara Catholic Grade School was opened in 1910 at 29th Street and
Throop Street. The building of the St. Barbara Church was finished in 1914.
St. Barbara Catholic Grade School was growing rapidly with over 1,100 stuidents in its eight
grades in 1923. The first hint of a high school program came in 1924 with the development of a two-year "commercial
school" to help young people find office jobs.
A new high school building was constructed in 1924 to house the commercial school classes. In
1947, the school became a four-year catholic high school for girls only. St. Barbara High School served in this
capacity for 56 years. Enrollment for the school peaked in 1985 with 372 students. The late 1990's brought about
concerns of financial issues stemming from low enrollment. The announcement was made in February of 2001 that
St. Barbara High School, with an enrollment at 85 students, would be closing.
The fate of the St. Barbara school building is needed.
Chicago St. Barbara High School Quick Facts
Year opened as two-year commercial HS: 1924
Year became a four-year all-girls HS: 1947
Year school closed:
St. Barbara HS team nickname:
St. Barbara HS team colors: Blue
St. Barbara HS fight song: