not all those who wander are lost

In a mere two years, look at what has happened to the Jane Cooper School. You heard the announcement here first when it was originally abandoned by the City of Detroit – at a time when it was still possible to save the contents of the building, as well as the structure itself.

Here was Jane Cooper at the time it was originally abandoned (with all school supplies, desks and computers still inside) in 2007

And here is Jane Cooper two years later in 2009. All valuable metal is now peeled from the shell of the structure.

Here is one of the main entryways in 2007

In 2009 – even some of the doors are scrapped now.

The exterior facade in 2007

And now in 2009, you can see right through the building.

The local news media EVENTUALLY was all over this story – after it was too late and the building was destroyed and the contents were ruined and looted. But after the heart wrenching stories of fraud and waste and abuse of power within the Detroit Public School system, what has been the result of the local media hype ? Any follow ups to see if DPS secured this structure or removed any precious school books or learning materials that were still viable ?


First of all, the building has about 2000 openings now making securing it a very expensive prospect.

Are you shocked to find out that the school books are all still sitting in there ?

Piles and piles of unused texts – in a public school system where children dont have TOILET PAPER.

Okay – now in a school system that can not even provide basic human sanitation fundamentals, you would think the actual toilet paper would be used more carefully. All the paper stored at Jane Cooper was left on shelves, like these rolls that somebody appears to have been playing with.

Meanwhile in all other parts of the City, school children must bring sanitary paper from home in order to use the toilets at school. They might as well bring them all those discarded text books to wipe their asses on.

The people responsible for this madness will surely spend an eternity in hell’s fire for what they have done , and left undone, here.

The center of the schools design allowed for a cafeteria and gymnasium.

Here is the Amazon listing for the Thorndike-Barnhart Junior Dictionaries piled up in this photo $134.82 USD for these hard cover editions.

And here is the Amazon price for the copies of the Scholastic Visual Dictionary pictured.
That one clocks in at $63.02 USD for the hard cover edition.

And the scrappers were peeling METAL off this building for money ? There is a fortune in unused books right here for the taking.

One remaining sheet of metal for the thieves to peel clean.

Jane Cooper School is far from being alone in this insane circus of waste and destruction. There was a recent photo essay done from various buildings that got some national attention, but all those photos are incorrectly mislabeled “Jane Cooper” when they in fact come from a number of different schools. There are DOZENS of schools like this in Detroit. Buildings that had kids in them just a few moments ago. Buildings with nothing wrong with them, purposefully destroyed. Precious, rare and expensive school supplies left to rot.

Governor Announces Jane Cooper Elementary School as School-to-Work “Innovator to Watch” Award Winner

Governor John Engler today announced at the School-to-Work Conference in Lansing that Jane Cooper Elementary School, located in Detroit, was one of ten Michigan schools to receive this year’s “Innovator to Watch” award. The award is presented annually to schools that have an exemplary School-to-Work program.

“Jane Cooper Elementary School’s outstanding program deserves this recognition for its innovative educational approach and its promotion of lifelong learning with emphasis on developing career skills,” said Governor Engler. “It is a model program for others to follow.”

~ From 1998

And in a few more weeks, will there be 20 more schools just like this one ?

16 Responses to The Rape of Jane Cooper

  • Monique C… I went there, in 70’s , kindergarten ,1st grade, Sooooooo, SAD, I remember at reading time call by group sitting in a circle ,the teacher would’ve each of to take reading, and if someone get stuck couldn’t pronounce a word, that would’ve take word home and study it, before they could go to the next level book, and the word I got stuck on was ” Them”, WOW just good teaching, SMH😔😞

  • Went there for kindergarten in mid ’60s and actually still remember my first day and that imposing front door. Once inside, I remember the teacher’s smiling face, snack time, and naptimes. All good stuff. This is sad to see.

  • I went to this school n tha early 80s. Looking at it have me sad. So many fond memories. Now look at it. I wud if i cud (or had tha help) buy tha building and do something for tha community with it. To me that school is very sentimental and historical. DETROIT, STAND UP AND DO SOMETHING POSITIVE TO AND FOR YOUR CITY!!!

  • Strange comment there, Mia. But I suppose all that hard learnin about hands-off and what not came in handy for homeschoolers.

    In the ghetto, not so much.

  • Tragic. When I was a kid – and it wasn’t THAT long ago – we were taught not to touch something that doesn’t belong to you. We didn’t put our hands all over things in stores. We didn’t touch stuff in other perople’s houses without permission. We didn’t go in our neighbor’s yard without permission. We would have never thought to go in a building – especially a school building – abandoned or not.

    The books are the worst loss. I’m sure there are other schools in Detroit that could have used them. I’ll bet there are (or were) school supplies and other things that could have been used. It’s just a shame.

  • MAYHEM! What a waste! Shocking and so sad, we need help!

  • This is justincredible. I am speechless. I have always liked to “wander” around places that are old and abandoned. I had no idea there was a place in AMERICA where there was so MUCH of it… and apparently due to only greed, corruption and mismanagement.

    Gadsden, AL

  • So sad. Shocking.

  • Sad. Just sad.

  • I’m with Mark in that this situation deserves National attention. The waste of toilet paper when kids who can hardly afford school lunch have to bring tp to school is an outrage for sure. All those books and things could have been sold and donated. As always, you document Detroit’s rotten heartaches so well.

  • …this website and your photos will be invaluable source of info in the future as a record of what happened. keep up the good work.

  • No matter how often I see these schools in photos or in person it never fails to make me incredibly angry and sad. And come June there will be more of them. :(

  • This deserves National media attention. This is absurd.

  • Thanks for posting this dFunk. I wish the whole country could see this madness.

  • Your blog is extraordinary. Thank you for sharing your photos and perspectives.

  • Woah! We were there in the summer and it is even MORE fucked up now. Wow, wow, wow.

    Also, I completely agree with your sentiment as to the mismanagement and raping of the DPS system.

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