History: 1917 – 2011
E. Rivers has the distinction of being one of Atlanta”s oldest public schools. Originally called Peachtree Heights School, it opened its doors in 1917 as a two-grade schoolhouse on land that was donated for this specific purpose by Atlanta developer Eretus Rivers. Enrollment and faculty grew steadily through the first decade.
In 1926, the school was renamed for Mr. Rivers as a tribute for his outstanding service on the Board of Education and in the community at large. In 1948 the original stone structure burned to the ground in a furnace fire accidentally caused by a maintenance worker in an attempt to destroy a wasps nest. While planning and construction for the new building was underway, classes were held at The Temple and at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church. When the new structure opened for classes in 1950, it received an architectural award for excellence in design and was featured in Time Magazine. The architects were Stevens and Wilkinson.
A new gymnasium, media center, classrooms and administrative offices were added in 1994. A renovation of the cafeteria, auditorium, and classroom wings (including new HVAC and electrical systems) was completed in the fall of 1999.
In the fall of 2001, E. Rivers completed its “Field of Dreams” – the result of tremendous generosity and collaboration between E. Rivers families, faculty, neighbors, business partners and Atlanta Public Schools. Our “Field of Dreams” boasts one of Atlanta’s finest soccer and baseball fields, a quarter mile running track, basketball courts, and play ground. It is a wonderful place for students, friends and families to gather and is a true testament to what can be accomplished through Lion pride and teamwork.
A 90th birthday celebration was held in the spring of 2007. Activities were held to commemorate the history of the school such as trivia contests and art displays. Everything led up to an assembly for students including a short play featuring great moments in the school’s history, the presentation of a flag from the old school, a new video with recollections of past students and a reunion party for all alumni that included tours of the facility and a display of our rich history. E. Rivers is truly an Atlanta treasure.