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Winter 2011



Major Opening in Tenleytown: a stunning new library See back page for details

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT CUPOLA? A fifth grade adventurer explores the top of Mt. Janney -- and discovers that it’s only a 20th Century symbol How do you picture Janney? A high achieving school, sure. But what’s at the top? Did you ever notice that little white dome on the roof? That dome is called a cupola (pronounced kyoo-po-la). According to the dictionary, the architectural definition of a cupola is “a light structure on a dome or roof, serving as a belfry, lantern, or belvedere.” Cupolas were built on many buildings in the eastern United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries. They were built for practical and/or symbolic purposes. On the practical side, cupolas were built to bring air or light into the rest of the building. On homes built near the seashore, cupolas often were built as lookouts for families to watch for ships returning from the sea. But Janney’s cupola wasn’t built for any practical purpose. In fact, you can’t even get to it from inside the school—because it’s just set on top of the roof. Janney, like many buildings, has a cupola that is symbolic. Cupolas often were used on school buildings because their height and elegance made people think of high achievement. They also made the building look historical and significant. The Janney cupola is original to the building. It was built in 1925, as part of the original design by Albert L. Harris, our city’s second municipal architect. Don’t worry that you’ll lose your cupola when you graduate from Janney, though. Deal Middle and Wilson High schools have cupolas, too! -- David Vaden

Our Cupola One of three school cupolas in Tenleytown, the Janney version is Albert Harris’s symbol of high educational achievement.

Inside: Good stuff on our food, our fiction, our letters -- and our security guard