The way the calendar fell, I was in Southern Ontario right at December 24th.
Therefore I had family business and there was a couple of days before I made it over to Detroit. I met up with UJ and we slacked, but I put my foot down and we at least got something done before the night fell.
That something was Woodward Elementary: one of the 10 schools scheduled for demolition between April & June of 2010.
Woodward Elementary opened in 1963 and closed 41 years later.
I normally despise modern structures, but I have to admit that the interior of Woodward Elementary was sort of neat.
It would be a bullied kid's nightmare, but throughout the building there were oval and porthole windows which peeked into classrooms, the computer room and the gymnasium. The windows provided an intriguing option versus your standard school layout & would also allow principles and other teachers to better supervise children from more vantage points.
I remembered my friend Adam telling me that he thought this building had been recognized by the regional historic board for its unique design; but he wasn't certain of this fact.
It's not to say that it wasn't recognized since it's being demolished; since historic designation means jack shit in Detroit.
After unique classrooms and hallways, the theatre couldn't have been more uninspiring.
Please enjoy these two hastily taken & crooked pictures that I stitched together of the theatre.
The gym seemed to be plopped into the middle with the same mentality as the theatre.
This time, here are two even more crooked pictures stitched together of the gymnasium.
Also, I've been in a couple schools where they have gathered everything in the gymnasium; and it never fails to attract arsonists like bears to a picnic basket.
Moving into the main office, there was a little window into the mindset of those present during Woodward's last days.
...and also a window into some interesting DPS policy.
"Persons taking pictures or recording school sites" ?
Makes me wonder if I'm on any lists...
While I was sorting through important paperwork, I was startled by UJ screaming like she hit the lotto.
Apparently "UJ likes kids in Halloween costumes".
Although, one of the pictures did capture a Lee Plaza still with windows!
...and today's Lee Plaza for comparison.
Look closely and you still may not realize that this is from the roof - which was completely lame.
Since Woodward Elementary only soars 2 stories above the earth, the nearby houses are about the same height; providing problems with remaining unseen on the roof. In addition, the rest of the empty area is mostly schoolyard for nearby Northwestern High and also storage yards for the National Guard where The Olympia (former Red Wings home) used to stand.
It wasn't cold and the sun was setting, but I still only spent 3 minutes on the roof.
(The building isn't high enough to watch the sunset if you're wondering why the sunset couldn't keep me up there.)
I don't know if Woodward Elementary is gone yet, but I know that 8 of the other schools are (demolished).
The fact that I heard Woodward had dumpsters outside and plastic on the windows? In addition to knowing that 8 of the other 10 schools are already gone?
I'm pretty sure we have another vacant lot.