Photo credit: Janet Davis , c. 1907

Property Name: Tome School for Boys Historic District
Date Listed: 5/16/1984
Inventory No.: CE-1285
Location: Port Deposit, Cecil County

Description: The buildings of the former Tome School for Boys occupy the southwest quadrant of the Bainbridge Naval Training Center on a 200' bluff overlooking the town of Port Deposit and the Susquehanna River. The buildings are now being leased by the U.S. Department of Labor and are used as the Susquehanna Job Corps Center. The historic district is comprised of 16 buildings on approximately 30 acres: the main academic building (Tome Memorial Hall), the three dormitories (Jackson, Harrison, and Madison Halls), the Director's residence, the Tome Inn dormitory and dining hall, the gymnasium (Monroe Hall), six Masters' cottages, a non-contributing modern metal building, and two non-contributing mid-20th century frame garages. All the buildings except the metal building and the garages date from 1900 to 1905. The rectangular metal building was added by the Job Corps in the 1970s for instructional and storage space. The buildings are arranged around a quadrangle oriented northeast-southwest, except the Masters' cottage, which are located on a road downslope to the southeast of the quadrangle. The stone buildings are in an elaborate Beaux-Arts-influenced, Georgian Revival style. The Masters' cottages are frame and stucco in a vernacular residential style. The addition of exterior fire escapes, minor changes in fenestration, and replacement of doors and roofs have not compromised the integrity of the complex.

Significance: The Tome School for Boys possesses significance in national architectural, educational, and military history covering the period 1900 to 1974. The architectural significance of the school centers on the site plan and Beaux-Arts-influenced Georgian Revival style of the buildings designed by the firm of Boring and Tilton in 1900. This firm had just received international recognition, winning the Gold Medal of the Paris Exposition of 1900 for its design of the U.S. Immigration Station, Ellis Island, New York. The architecture of Tome School embodies the distinctive characteristics of the Beaux-Arts movement which flourished from about 1890 to 1930. The monumental scale of the buildings, their symmetrical facades, the elaborate ornamentation derived from English Renaissance and American Colonial Revival sources, and the axial site plan are the main elements of the movement present in the Tome School. The School is significant in national educational history for its association with James Cameron Mackenzie, the planner of both the Tome School and the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. The Lawrenceville School of 1882, upon which the Tome School plan was based, was the prototype of the non-sectarian college preparatory boarding school which proliferated in America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Finally, the Tome School is significant in military history as the location of the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) from 1943 to 1974, excepting the years 1949 to 1951. The NAPS, the third oldest school in the U.S. Navy after the Naval Academy and the Naval War College, prepares enlisted candidates in the Navy and Marine Corps for admission to the Naval Academy. The NAPS was located in the Tome School buildings for a total of 29 years covering a period of three major wars, during which the school played a continuing role in providing naval leadership for those conflicts.




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