George J. West Elementary School was built as the Beaufort Street Grammar School in 1916. Its Gothic detailing, a nod toward the increasing popularity of the enclosed quadrangular English medieval college as an academic model, was seen first in Providence Public Schools in this building. Architects Murphy, Hindle & Wright, specialists in ecclesiastical architecture, provenders of designs for many early twentieth-century church complexes within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, were a logical choice for such a commission.
This three-story-on-high-basement, flat-roof, red-brick, Tudor style building with cast-stone trim originally included only the central portion of the building and was later expanded by construction of identical wings on either side.
The Facilities Master Plan for the Providence Public Schools, by educational planner DeJONG, recommended that George J. West be replaced by a new school. In 2007, PPS included this school on the Most Endangered Properties list.
George J. West is important as a neighborhood landmark, an ample presence on a significant open space in this densely built early twentieth-century residential neighborhood. It projects a powerful architectural statement not easily replaced. As of February, 2019, the building continues to serve the community as an elementary school.