Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, the Colburn School is located at 136 Lawrence Street. Built in 1848, the school was designed in the Greek Revival style by a local school principal. Like other schools of the period, when first built it contained a single school room capable of holding 200 students and two recitation rooms. Its simple Greek Revival form was the traditional style used for Lowell's public buildings in the 1830s and 1840s such as the Old Market House (1837, Market Street) and Old City Hall (1830, 222 Merrimack Street). The school was named after Warren Colburn, a superintendent at the Merrimack Manufacturing Company and an early, strong advocate of creating a public school system in Lowell.
The design of the school employs a standard Greek Revival element of a broad gable facing the street supplemented by a coherent pattern of granite lintels and sills, modillioned cornices, and banded brick frieze coursing. Recessed vertical panels at the corners of the two end facades appear to be a simplified variation of the Greek Revival pilaster motif.
When closed in 1992, it was the oldest school building in Lowell still in use. The building was rehabilitated by the Greater Lowell Mental Health Association for use as housing.