Bardwell School was designed by the Llewellyn Company of Chicago in the Collegiate Gothic style, and cost $600,000 to construct. It was considered the best elementary school in the state at the time it was built. The school was named for noted Aurora educator, C.M. Bardwell, who served as superintendent of East Aurora schools from 1896 to 1928.
Stylistic details include the projecting towers and buttresses, and carved limestone details and trim. Interior detailing included maple floors in the classrooms with terrazzo floors and enamel brick and tile bordered walls in the corridors. The classrooms boasted built-in closets for storage.
The gymnasium could accommodate 500 spectators and the auditorium had a capacity for 900 persons. The Llewellyn Company designed many schools in Aurora, including Beaupre Elementary School (1944), East Aurora High School (Waldo) 1911 to 1912, and Dieterich Elementary (1947 to 1949).