Throughout the years, Detroit has found itself at the forefront of seemingly endless judgment and controversy. Social issues, financial unrest, and downright corruption have emerged here in our beloved Motor City, often leading to the shuttering of businesses and other establishments. While those who call Detroit home understand that the realities of Detroit’s challenges are more complicated than outsiders assume, there’s something eerily fascinating about examining some of our city’s now-defunct spaces. One abandoned high school in Detroit was photographed prior to its demolition, and those who choose to embrace both the highs and lows of Motown’s history will find the images thought-provoking.
Redford High School, which first opened its doors on Grand River Avenue in the fall of 1921, operated within Detroit Public Schools until it was closed by the district in 2007. During its heyday, the school offered an assortment of unique classes and housed a vibrant community of students and staff alike. Between 2007 and 2012, the abandoned school building gradually fell into disrepair. Following its demolition in 2012, the former Redford High School site was converted into the home of a Meijer store, which stands today.
Prior to its ultimate demise and demolition, though, the empty school grounds were a fascinating destination for urban explorers and abandoned building photographers. Here are 10 photographs by Thomas Hawk that capture the sad yet intriguing ruins of Redford High School.
1. We can only imagine the performances, speeches, assemblies, and special events that must have taken place in this auditorium space throughout the years. Despite the debris, the room maintains touches of architectural beauty and wonder.
2. Sports are at the forefront of many high schoolers’ experiences, and Redford High was surely no exception. This image shows the school’s abandoned gym, likely a space for bonding and memory-making among generations of graduates and attendees.
3. A now-empty library looks far less inviting than it must have during the glory days of Redford High School. With its shelves devoid of books and its windows shattered, the space is nothing short of eerie.
4. Did your high school have an on-site pool? Redford High in Detroit did, but the water left along with the pupils and the school’s funding in 2007. This photo shows an abandoned swimming pool, which looks almost dystopian without its glimmering blue contents.
5. Red floor tiles and lockers make for a vibrant image of a common area at the abandoned high school. Despite its emptiness, it’s easy to imagine this scene full of bustling Redford students on their way to and from classes.
6.Tests, presentations, lectures, quizzes, and everything in between – these are some of the tasks most commonly associated with high school classrooms. This particular classroom, now with empty chalkboards and decaying ceilings, must have been the site of many educational experiences for Redford students.
7. This photo, captured with a fisheye lens, is an especially eerie image from the collection. After all, it’s clear that many students and staff members at Redford felt a unique kinship to the high school and its sense of community. Its closure was undoubtedly challenging for those who watched its demise.
8. Broken toilets, crumbling walls, and peeling paint are all that remain of this high school bathroom.
9. Anyone who attended high school knows that hallways tend to be meeting places for students and serve as the backdrop for all sorts of meaningful events: from first kisses to inside jokes and memorable encounters with pals, this stairwell and its adjoining hallways likely contributed to countless memories for students.
10. Was this room a home economics classroom? A shop space? A teacher’s lounge? While it’s difficult to be entirely sure, one thing is certain: it stands as yet another reminder of the fascinating history and sad decline of Redford High School in Detroit.
So, there you have it: 10 incredible photos of an abandoned high school in Detroit. Did you or one of your loved ones attend Redford High School? How do these images make you feel? We’d love to hear your memories and thoughts, so drop us a line in the Facebook comments. Or, if you’d like to recommend another topic for future consideration, complete our nomination form.
Are you absolutely fascinated by images of empty spaces? If so, read about this incredible abandoned church in Detroit.
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