As Detroit grew in the decades after the Civil War, civic leaders established an extensive public school system leading, eventually, to the construction of the ponderous city high school that is know now as Wayne State University's Old Main Building. The location you see was purchased in 1869 and a school was erected on it in 1873. I do not know the name of that school and have never seen a picture of that building. The emergence of the vehicle industry led to a population spurt in Detroit and school enrollments soared. In 1915, the school board purchased additional land around this school. In 1922 the old school was razed and the Malcomson, Higginbotham and Palmer architectural firm won the commission to design the large and exceptionally appealing Tudor Revival School that you see. This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and is included within the Cass Farm Multiple Property Submission.
As Detroit’s population declined after World War II, public school enrollment fell. In 1999, Thomas Jefferson Intermediate School became the Marilyn Lundy Academy. This facility closed and there were plans to locate the Detroit Midtown Academy at this site. However, another location—South McDougall Street—was chosen. There have been discussions, I believe, about using this facility for a charter school.
Architects: William Malcomson, William Higginbotham and Palmer
Date of Construction: 1922
Architectural Style: Tudor Revival
City of Detroit Designated Historic District: Not listed
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Places: Not listed
National Register of Historic Sites: #97001094 Listed September 22, 1997
Use in 2008: This site may be used by a charter school.
Photograph: Ren Farley; September 20, 2008
Return to Education
Return to Detroit Homepage