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.