Thursday, July 23, 2015

(Photos) Detroit's scavenged Harry B. Hutchins School

There's a beautiful old junior high school on Detroit's north side--Harry B. Hutchins Intermediate School at 8820 Woodrow Wilson Street. Well, it was beautiful. Crosman Alternative High School moved into the facility in 2007--the school closed three years later.

Hutchins is for sale. But let the buyer beware.

The exquisite entrance way. Lily Tomlin is an alumnus of Hutchins.

This is what the school looks like from its back yard. The invasive and difficult-to-kill tree-of-heaven, also known as ailanthus, which one of Detroit's most common trees, dominates.

Amazingly, there is a Colorado blue spruce in the yard--it looks to be about ten years old.

Hutchins School was unique for its time--it was built as educational institution for what we now call middle school students. Yes, Detroit was once on the forefront of education innovations. However, Detroit Public Schools--in what can only be deemed sheer incompetence--never bothered to board up the school when it closed. Which means that anyone can and will walk right in and take anything they want.

The old auditorium. Metal thieves, wire strippers, lighting fixture filchers, and souvenir hunters have picked the old school clean. Although the high ceiling in this room--at least for now--have protected these lights.

It's hard to believe that this school has been closed for only six years.

As Detroit native Alice Cooper sang, "School is out forever."

The former Hutchins gymnasium. There is a balcony surrounding the facility.

The former library teaches a sad new lesson now. This room had the more broken glass than any other here. While I was in the library I heard the sounds of gunfire--fortunately that was the only time that happened when I was in Detroit. Nights must be horrible in this neighborhood--most of the street lights near Hutchins don't work.

While the vandals are responsible for the destruction of Hutchins--neglect by DPS is the midwife of this Motor City eyesore. Before it closed, $2.4 million in bond money was sunk into this school. What a colossal waste. Squandering cash greatly contributed to Detroit's current status as a failed city.


Unknown said...

You can blame Governor snake Rick Snyder for this. His administration destroyed the school system. He should be in jail!!

John Ruberry said...

Snyder has been governor for five years. Hutchins school closed in 2009. That was seven years ago. Who destroyed Detroit's school system? You can start with Jerome Cavanaugh, who was Detroit's mayor during most of the 1960s. He signed into law the income and commuter tax which chased people with money out of the city--and the liberal Democrat's slow response to the 1967 riots let that unrest spiral out of control, chasing more people away. Mayor Coleman Young's race-baiting succeeded in solidifying his base--but chased still more people out of Detroit during his 20 years in office, and not just white folks. The rampant corruption of the Kwame Kilpatrick administration, he was mayor for most of the 00s, institutionalized the rot.