Monday, December 21, 2009

Baffled by Latest News From Detroit: 14 Schools to be Demolished!

Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan - built in 1922
photo from a web page published by the class of 1939

Whenever we might be feeling down about our City and the erosion of it's built environment, It seems like Detroit does something that makes St. Louis seem like a progressive place to be.

This week Preservation, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation reported that Detroit Public Schools will spend $33 million to demolish 14 historic vacant school buildings.  Included in the proposal is demolition of the massive Cass Technical High School which will cost $6 million to demolish.  What makes this story really insane is when you realize that Detroit Public Schools abandoned the old Cass Tech and spent $93,000,000 to build a brand new 404,000 s.f. school right next door to the original building!

$33,000,000 would likely be enough to completely renovate at least 2-3 of the doomed buildings, and if combined with Federal Historic Tax Credits, private equity and other potential incentives or tax credits, could bring new uses and restoration to many more.  Spending that much to only end up with nothing is a mind boggling waste of public money.


Chris said...

But they're old fashioned, representing the old Detroit; I can understand why they would want to demolish them. But in all seriousness, 33 million could build another school or two, couldn't it?

Jeannette E. Spaghetti said...

I wonder why they aren't considering turning them into apartments, with businesses on the ground floor?

Anonymous said...

Spend some time in Detroit and you'd fully understand why these building will be leveled. No money, no prospects. If you build they will come? Not in Detroit. It's a dead empire. People left and aren't coming back. There's plenty of houses there you can buy for under 5 grand too. They're all rotting. Detroit is returning back to nature. Eventually a lost civilization.