Awwww my old elementary school. I really enjoyed these photos, brought back so many memories.
I went to this school from K-6th grade, graduated 1949. My DAD went to this school in 1919. He lived at 492 Fernhill, WE lived at 456.
This school should be saved and recycled. You can sign a Petition by going to this site —
Contact your school boards, congress, local officials.
There are explorers who have documented all the school buildings before demolition. Not sure how specific they were about the text book issue though. I can tell for a fact that they are current, usable, and expensive educational materials – and some places Ive seen they were never even taken out of the boxes. Schools that claimed to be so broke they required children to bring their own toilet paper ! If its that pathetic, they may as well use the books for toilet paper. The text book thing is pure insanity.
I can’t do this as I don’t live in the city, but would it be possible to gather textbook photos from as many of the recently shuttered schools as possible and ask why the books have been abandoned? Or are they clearly decades old and were just never thrown out? I’ve seen that in plenty of academic settings, abandoned or not.
I know exactly what you are saying Angela – that is one of the main reasons I started documenting Detroit full time about 9 years ago – because of the mindblowingly rapid changes. Both good and bad….sometimes very very bad.
My father in law graduated from Wilbur Wright. I grabbed the original “1929” date cornerstone out of the debris for him, it is sitting in his backyard in Royal Oak now.
Both sides of my family and my wifes family all grew up and raised their families in Detroits neighborhoods. My Stepmom lived on Field Street next to St Anthony and was baptized there before her family moved out. My mother and my wifes father grew up a block apart, in the neighborhood across from City Airport. My father was born on a street next to the Fisher Mansion (Hare Krishna now) in the Grayhaven neighborhood. That entire street is gone now.
Damn. :) Another of my daughter’s schools is heading for demo (the old DSA/Wilbur Wright is a goner). At least her middle school, Farwell, is still standing. *knocks on wood* That was a great school back in the day with wonderful teachers and the neighborhood around it was still rather populated compared to the ghost town there now.
I am through that area frequently both for the job and just to see what’s left and damn do I wish I had images of how things used to be just back in the late 80 to mid 00s. Hell of thing to watch your old hood just vanish.
I can visit or even google my old hoods in Cleveland, New Jersey, and even Scotland and the change is almost non-existent over the past 45 years compared with just a decade here. Thanks as always for sharing your own images.
This one had been shuttered pretty well for a long time, and then I drove by the other day and every single window and door was open. Usually happens after the shuttered school is arsoned. 4th photo from the bottom shows where the fire was, in the center of the main hallway.
But yeah, many books are never even removed from their cardboard boxes. Makes you think that all the schools are faking it in the City when you see that – what is this, the hundredth time ? I dont seek out abandoned DPS properties, I just stumble through them as I ramble around. But others have documented these buildings quite carefully – and the common theme is that they dont seem to ever have used many textbooks – which retail for about $50 per book. (im sure they are cheaper in bulk – maybe – but still)
Jane Cooper was another place filled with unused textbooks. These are schools that claim such hardships, they make the children bring their own toilet paper to school. As I said before, just let them wipe their asses on the text books, because at least then they will have been used for some purpose.
I like how the books are untouched or just strewn around but not stolen, seeing as how they are worthless.
How long did it take from when the school was shut before it was trashed?
Another mind cemetery – very, very sad to see…
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