Albert Hill Middle School

History Overview

  • Albert H. Hill School, established 1933

    Built by architect Charles M. Robinson, the building at Patterson Avenue and Roseneath Road opened in 1926, to house Richmond Normal School. The Normal School, a teacher-in- training school with grades K-7, was discontinued in June 1933 in the Depression as state teacher colleges had begun.  In September 1933 the school was established as Albert H. Hill Elementary School, named for the former Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools 1919-33.  In 1934, a junior high school was added to the elementary grades and, together with the rapid growth of the West End, soon led to crowded conditions at Hill. The opening of Mary Munford School, in 1951, gave temporary relief. To ease a crowded situation at Thomas Jefferson High School, ninth graders were retained at Albert Hill and the elementary grades were transferred in 1956 and 1957 to Cary and Lee Schools. Today, Albert Hill Middle School educates 6-8 graders.The part-three-story Spanish exterior features ornate stone carvings, meeting Superintendent Hill's specifications. The first principal in 1926 described the building: 'The offices, library, cafeteria, teachers' room, industrial education laboratory, and fourteen class rooms are situated on the first floor; on the second and third floors there are twenty-three rooms, the auditorium and the gymnasium. The gymnasium contains a basket ball court 13,800 square feet and is well equipped with apparatus. Conveniently adjacent are locker rooms and shower rooms.  For out-door athletics there are courts for basket ball, volley ball and tennis."

    (Richmond Public Schools, History)


    Albert Hudgins Hill

    Albert Hudgins Hill (1866-1933), attended  Richmond College (now University of Richmond) and graduated there with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1887. In later years he attended Columbia University where he earned a Master of Arts degree in 1914.  From 1894 to 1905 he taught in the local evening school in Richmond, Virginia. He became principal of Scottsville Elementary and High Schools in 1887. Hill joined the Richmond City Public Schools in 1889, rising from principal to assistant superintendent in 1904. In 1919 he succeeded Dr. J.A.C. Chandler as superintendent.

    Mr. Hill's interests were varied. He was a summer school school instructor at the University of Virginia, a member of the Richmond City Library Board , and a member of the Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of the state board of education from 1923 to 1927, and was a member of Kappa Alpha Kappa fraternity and the Richmond Rotary Club.

    In his eulogy, Mr. Jesse H. Binford said of Mr. Hill, "In a sense, Mr. Hill was a casualty of the unusual times through which we are passing...he stuck grimly and manfully to his task of paring budgets and maintaining the efficiency of the schools on constantly diminishing budgets."

    Albert H. Hill died quietly at his home on West Grace Street after a brief illness. He is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.

    (Virginia Historical Society, Collection Number Mss1 H5565 a FA and Richmond Times Dispatch, 5/15/1933)