Although Harrisburg's northern boundary when incorporated as a city in 1860 reached as far as Maclay Street, it would not be until the early 1890's that development widely occurred above Reily Street. Local homebuilder Benjamin Engle launched the first major subdivision in this area, a Queen Anne and Italianate-styled community known as "Engleton," between Reily and Kelker Streets and N. Second and N. Third Streets. With this sprawling new neighborhood came of course, the demand for an elementary school. Consequently, the Simon Cameron School was erected in 1896, on land just north of Engleton, and was named for President Lincoln's first Secretary of War and noted Harrisburg "empire-builder" who had passed away in 1889. Designed by local architect Charles Howard Lloyd and partner Charles James Foose in the Second Renaissance Revival architectural style, the building was expanded to the rear using the same design in 1904. Over the decades, the school became the central focus of the Old Uptown community, educating literally thousands of young Harrisburgers until it closed in 1972 through the consolidation of the city school system. After serving as a federal job-training center, the building was converted in 1987 to 35 upscale apartments. many of the former school's historic qualities were retained including the grand halls, high ceilings and abundant supply of nine-foot tall windows. individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the transformed Cameron School continues its service to the community, now through contributing to neighborhood revitalization.
Class of Miss Sue Bretten is captured at the School's northern Green street entrance on January 14, 1898.
1904 postcard view of the Simon Cameron School after completion of the building's rear wing.