Saint Patrick High School was founded by the Christian Brothers in 1861, when Chicago was just beginning to grow into a city of importance. It served boys from the area in which it was located, Des Plaines and Adams Streets. As the city grew, industry developed around the school and the students came instead from more outlying areas and later from suburbs because their fathers were alumni of the school.
When the Eisenhower Expressway was under construction, the decision was made to move Saint Patrick High School to its present location in order to serve the needs of Catholic boys from the northwest side parishes. In June, 1952, the old Saint Patrick closed its doors, and in September, classes for its students started in the Saint Mel High School building with a special schedule of afternoon classes.
Classes in the new Saint Patrick began in September 1953, although the building was not
completely finished. During the next three years, the demand for entrance into the school was great enough to require the construction of the circular building which was completed in September, 1956. The final construction of the swimming pool and handball court and instruction rooms was completed in September, 1967. In 1991, due to the ever-increasing demand for technological advances, the top floor of the "round" building was reconfigured to accommodate a high-tech Computer Learning Center. The lab presently houses 120 computers and facilitates a network of over three hundred internet-accessible computer stations that are used to integrate all areas of the curriculum.
The administrative structure changed in 1987 when the position of President was created. The existence of a President/Principal style of leadership effectively addressed the needs of both students and the larger community. In 1990, a board of Trustee model was incorporated and adopted by the Christian Brothers. Currently, the twenty-five-member board is comprised of men and women who represent various career backgrounds, and includes among its members representatives of the Christian Brothers and Saint Patrick alumni.
The Administration and Board of Trustees became instrumental forces in the strategic planning and development of the school's first ever capital campaign, Vision 2000. This 6.5 million-dollar building and program expansion project was completed in July, 2000, and includes an atrium, a state-of-the-art library/media center, a 299-seat theater, music and art facilities, an auxiliary gymnasium, and additional office space.
Throughout its history, Saint Patrick High School has remained an institution technologically advanced and highly competitive within all areas of the curriculum.
Today Saint Patrick is the oldest Catholic boys’ high school in the city of Chicago. It is also the oldest school operated by the Chicago Province of the Christian Brothers.
Each year over 1,000 boys, representing over 100 elementary schools, form the student body, continuing the story that began 149 years ago.