Monday, June 9, 2008

Roosevelt High School Demolition

Heading west on US 35 I saw the construction crane over the trees , which was a reminder that Roosvelt High Schol was coming down. Built in the 1920s, I think, this was the big west side high school. It was so big that you can't take pix of it in one shot. There are flanking wings, then it extends back on the lot some.

The lawn reverting to prarie and the abandonded and somewhat ruined wing in the background give a sort of "city or ruins" feel to the place, or maybe some old country house gone to ruin and seed after a revolution and the dispossession of some ancien regime.

The brickwork on this side wall was laid in a diamond pattern decorative bond. It might just be visible if you click on the pix to englarge it.
Looks like the demolition is proceeding apace on this front entrance. Perhaps some ornamental stuff was stripped from that piedment?
Surroundings reverting to nature. With some cropping one can get that "bit of country in the heart of the city" feel since buildings are not that visible around here, except for that big church set in a forest across Third.
I expect we will see more of these urban savannahs as the city ramps up their demolition program.

Apparently there was some historic preservation interest in saving this school, perhaps some nostalgia from old timers. Roosvelt did have historic value, as a monument to local racism.

It was discrimination and poor treatement of black students by Roosevelts' administration and teachers that led black parents to lobby the school board for a separate school for blacks, so they could be given a fair education. The school board agreed to this, and segregated Dunbar High School was formed, with it's own building on Summit Street. I think Dunbar was built in the 1930s.

The old Dunbar School has been torn down, too, but the name lives on in a modern school south of Germantown Street.

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