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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JOHN HUNTINGTON POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

JOHN HUNTINGTON POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

The JOHN HUNTINGTON POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE filled a gap in area educational needs for 35 years by giving tuition-free technical training to some 60,000 Cleveland residents. On his birthday in 1889, JOHN HUNTINGTON earmarked $200,000 to fund a technical school to be known as the John Huntington Art & Polytechnic Trust. After Huntington's death in 1893, his trustees allowed the money earmarked for the institute to accumulate, until on 1 Mar. 1918 the school opened with a handful of students in a small upper room at 2032 Euclid. Following a number of moves, it finally found a home at the Otis-Sanders mansion at 3133 Euclid. The stated purpose of the Huntington Institute was to provide "a night school for the promotion of scientific education for the benefit of deserving persons in said city who are unable to acquire a collegiate education." Students were required to be over 17 years of age, be employed in the city in one of the applied arts or an industrial occupation, and present satisfactory references from their employer. Courses covered a wide range of disciplines, including electricity, architecture, psychology, Spanish, painting, industrial design, and structural engineering. The institute did not offer degrees. Despite the undeniable success of the school--from a handful of students in 1918 to an enrollment of 2,000 in 1948 with a waiting list--the trustees petitioned the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and were granted permission to close the Huntington Polytechnic Institute in 1953 to create the JOHN HUNTINGTON FUND FOR EDUCATION to aid deserving students in acquiring scientific and technical training. The reason was that other schools in the area were serving the needs that had once made the institute unique.