G.L. Lockhart

by Andrew Bolthouse.

G.L. Lockhart, with a practice that concentrated on large public schools, designed Hancock’s high school.


Little is known of St. Paul-based G.L. Lockhart, except that he published a book on schools: Public Schools: Their Construction, Heating, Ventilation, Sanitation, Lighting and Equipment (H.W. Kingston Company, 1918), which seems to indicate his expertise. The book is illustrated with a number of his schools throughout the upper Midwest, many of them in a Gothic Revival style. Portions of the book are devoted to renovating old buildings in the most cost-effective way.

The book emphasizes the importance of the environment that students are exposed to when they are trying to learn. His biggest concern was that of the lighting of classrooms, arguing that a room should have window space equal to at least 20% of the floor space. Aside from poor lighting, one of the other major problems that Lockhart addressed was the lack of proper ventilation and air treatment within school buildings. In older buildings the ventilation shafts were simple masonry channels that had rough finishes from the mortar that was used to hold the bricks together. This rough surface caused friction when air was being moved through the building. Modern design called for a system of metal pipes that would be a more efficient way to move the air through the building; however, this system was costly to install. Lockhart presented an alternative–a system that used plasterboard to streamline these systems.

Lockhart’s career continued to thrive after publication of his book. In 1928 he designed the Austin High School in Minnesota, another Gothic Revival building, along with many others.