When the Maryland State Normal School (MSNS) was established in January 1866, an elementary school affiliated with the institution opened the following September. The elementary school was designed as a space for student teachers at the Normal School to practice their teaching skills and develop new methods of instruction. It provided a rich and varied education for students who attended, and was known by a variety of names including the Model School, the Training School, and the Campus Elementary School.
At first the school was hosted in a rented space near the MSNS building in Baltimore City. When the school moved to Towson in 1915, the elementary school was housed in the Administration Building, now called Stephens Hall. In 1932 a new building, now called Van Bokkelen Hall, was constructed specifically for the elementary school. The school soon adopted the name Lida Lee Tall School, after former MSNS principal and State Teachers College at Towson president, Lida Lee Tall.
The school continued to grow and another, larger building was constructed in 1960. The school continued to operate throughout the transition from the education-focused State Teachers College at Towson to the liberal arts-focused Towson State College in 1963. However, state funding for the elementary school ceased in 1991. The College of Liberal Arts now stands where the former Lida Lee Tall School once stood.
written by Felicity Knox, archives associate, Spring 2022