This was the best school in all of Detroit in its day. Originally there were three schools in this spot, including the School of Commerce where my motherinlaw graduated. The original two were leveled leaving room for I-75 to zip through.
Many prominent Detroiters attended Cass Tech including convicted felon and former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Here is a list of prominent alum of Cass Tech from Wikipedia:
- Geri Allen – Jazz pianist
- Harry Bertoia – acclaimed furniture designer and artist
- Ellen Burstyn – Academy Award winning actress
- Cora Brown (1931)- First African-American woman to be elected to a state senate seat, Michigan State senator
- Donald Byrd – jazz trumpeter and educator
- Regina Carter – violinist
- Ron Carter – jazz bassist
- Aundray Cornish – rapper and collaborator with Lil’ Ray
- Lydia Cleaver – harpist
- Mark Cwiek (1973) – All-American honors as a javelin thrower at Wayne State University.
- Dana Davidson – teacher and author of Jason and Kyra and Played
- John DeLorean – automotive executive and engineer
- Niels Diffrient – industrial designer
- Robert Dozier (1964) – former educator and football coach at Mackenzie High School; six of Dozier’s athletes performed in the NFL
- George Gembis – 1936 Collier’s All-America Team, Wayne State University Hall of Fame inductee
- Carole Gist – First African-American to win Miss USA, 1990
- Ed Gordon – Award-winning broadcaster
- David Alan Grier – noted actor and comedian
- Pat Harvey – Award-winning broadcast journalist
- Kevan Hall – celebrity fashion designer
- Rev. Nicholas Hood – former Detroit City Council member, current mayoral candidate
- Delores Ivory Davis – singer, actress, Drama Desk nominee
- Ray Johnson – seminal figure of the Pop Art movement
- Ella Joyce – Award-winning theater actress
- Kwame Kilpatrick – former Mayor of Detroit
- Eric Lamb (Science and Arts) – flutist
- Kenya Moore – Miss USA, 1993
- Naima Mora – winner of America’s Next Top Model cycle 4
- Greg Phillinganes – Session keyboardist
- Shaun Robinson – Access Hollywood co-anchor
- Diana Ross – actress and lead singer for the Supremes
- Eddie Tolan – first African-American to have the title “world’s fastest human” after winning gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter events at the 1932 Summer Olympics
- Lily Tomlin – Academy Award and Tony Award winning actress and comedienne
- Jack White (1992) – musician, The White Stripes
- Thomas E. White – former Secretary of the Army
- The mother of aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, Mrs. Evangeline Land Lindbergh, was a chemistry teacher at Cass; 1922-1942.
- The old school building is shown briefly in the film, Four Brothers.
- The student-led civil rights group, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), has its largest chapter at Cass.
- On November 25-26 1927 the School Science and Mathematics Association held their annual convention at Cass
- NBA Basketball player Chris Douglas Roberts attended Cass.
A new school was built and so, of course, the old one must be abandoned to the elements and to scrappers and vandals. Demolition By Neglect.
An historical structure of this stature would never be granted a demolition permit, so you have to ruin it first. This is Detroit, and this is what Detroit considers “progress”.