Our language has a lot of uses for the word “face.” It can be a noun, describing the outward appearance or expression or front part of the head; it can also be a verb, meaning to confront or to look forward.
High schools are the epitome of the use of “face.” They are full of faces from September to June, each one of them facing something in their time within the walls. Students face their friends, futures, and fears in these halls that, for many, serve as a rite of passage as much as they do a passage way to the next hour or class. And while many of us would never, ever want to face these years again, it can’t be denied what they have done to help us create the face we use as we move forward into life.
The historic Hibbing High School has seen its share of faces. From the time it opened its doors in the 1920s, thousands have graced the historic hallowed halls. Some have been famous (Bob Dylan, anyone?), but all have been favored to have found themselves in such a school.
There are a few things instantly associated with this Jacobethan building. All guests are greeted with the red and gray strapwork façade; this polychromatic pattern is carried through the towered pavilion entrance, which used to be complete with crenelated caps that gave it the confident nickname of “the castle in the wilderness.” The intricate entrance consists of a set of stairs that approach four Roman Doric columns, which leads into one of the greatest gifts ever presented to a community.
But, as with most things we face, there is so much more than what meets the eyes. Yes, the exterior and entrance stand out, as does the 1800-seat auditorium that was built in the style of New York’s Capital Theatre. But the details, they form the face of the Hibbing High School. The slight, settle characteristics—like a set of green eyes or a small birthmark about the eye—
create a sense of interest and uniqueness that leads to the true personality of a person (or place).
With my macro lens, I set out to find these faces of the Hibbing High School. What I found was the true charm of an old friend and a familiar…face.