Horace Howard Furness High School
Furness High School (Detail, May 2010)
Furness High School is located in Philadelphia
Furness High School
Location in Philadelphia
Furness High School is located in Pennsylvania
Furness High School
Location in Pennsylvania
Furness High School is located in the United States
Furness High School
Location in United States
Location1900 S. Third St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148
Coordinates39°55′26″N 75°09′03″W / 39.9238°N 75.1508°W / 39.9238; -75.1508
Area2 acres (0.81 ha)
Built byCramp & Co.
ArchitectHenry deCourcy Richards
Architectural styleLate Gothic Revival, Academic Gothic
MPSPhiladelphia Public Schools TR
NRHP reference No.86003286[1]
Added to NRHPDecember 1, 1986
Horace Furness High School 1900 S 3rd St Philadelphia PA 19148
Horace Furness High School 1900 S 3rd St Philadelphia PA 19148

Horace Howard Furness High School is a secondary (9th-12th) school in South Philadelphia. It is part of the School District of Philadelphia.[2]

Portions of South Philadelphia (including Bella Vista, Passyunk Square, Pennsport, Queen Village, and Whitman) are zoned to Furness.[3] A section of Center City, including Society Hill and Old City, was formerly zoned to Furness for high school.[4]


It was originally built as an elementary school, with construction starting in 1913 and ending in 1914; it later became Horace Furness Junior High School. It was named for Shakespearean scholar Horace Howard Furness (1833-1912).[5]

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Horace Furness Junior High School in 1986.[1] It was later converted into a senior high school, and its first high school graduation was held in 1991.[5]

In 2012 Daniel Peou, a Cambodian American man who was once a refugee and had lived in Philadelphia, became the principal of Furness.[6]


The school building was designed by Henry deCourcy Richards and built by Cramp & Co. It is a four-story, rectangular, reinforced concrete building clad in brick and terra cotta in the Late Gothic Revival-style. It features an oversized arched entryway, blind panels, terra cotta quoining, and a brick parapet.[7]

Student body

As of 2015 the school had 694 students. These students used over 25 different languages.[8]

In 2000 the school had about 1,200 students. In the 2009-2010 school year the school had 673 students, with 40% being African-American and 38% being Asian.[9]

Benjamin Herold of the Philadelphia Public School Notebook stated that Furness was largely free of racial tensions.[9]

Academic performance

In regards to Pennsylvania's state achievement tests, of 11th graders at Furness, the percentages of students meeting the standard or higher were 43% in reading and 58% in mathematics. In terms of Philadelphia's comprehensive schools these percentages were higher than the average.[9]


SEPTA routes 29, 57 and 79 serve Furness.[10]

School uniforms

Furness requires its students to wear school uniforms. Students may wear a gray shirt that must have a collar on it with black pants.[11]

Feeder patterns

K-8 schools feeding into Furness include:[12]

Previously George A. McCall School in Society Hill fed Furness High.[3][10][13]

See also


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "SCHOOL'S FINALLY OUT FOR SUMMER STUDENTS." Philadelphia Inquirer. August 8, 1986. B01.
  3. ^ a b Horace Furness High School Geographic Boundaries (Archive). School District of Philadelphia. Retrieved on October 4, 2011.
  4. ^ Where the Graduates Go Archived 2009-06-21 at the Wayback Machine." McCall School. Retrieved on November 9, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Furness fosters a diverse story". South Philly Review. 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  6. ^ Myers, Joseph. "Peou returns to head Furness" (Archive). September 13, 2012. Retrieved on December 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania". CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Archived from the original (Searchable database) on 2005-09-14. Retrieved 2012-07-07. Note: This includes unknown (n.d.). "Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form: Horace Furness Junior High School" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-03.
  8. ^ Hill, Chanel (2015-01-20). "Furness prepares students to be ambassadors of community". Philadelphia Tribune. p. A4.
  9. ^ a b c Herold, Benjamin (2011-10-14). "At Furness High, a tough choice looms". The Philadelphia Public School Notebook. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  10. ^ a b "A Directory of High Schools for 2009 Admissions" (Archive). School District of Philadelphia. p. 15 (PDF p/ 17/40). Accessed November 6, 2008.
  11. ^ "School Uniform Requirements Archived 2009-04-05 at the Wayback Machine." School District of Philadelphia.
  12. ^ "High School Directory Fall 2017 Admissions" (Archive). School District of Philadelphia. p. 32/70. Retrieved on November 16, 2016.
  13. ^ "School Finder." School District of Philadelphia. Retrieved on November 30, 2015.