The old Highland Park Community College & High School is nestled in the brush and overgrowth on Glendale Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

The building sits deserted with apparently no upkeep, filled with massive junk and graffiti (the swimming pool actually looks like someone tried to fill it with all sorts of stuff like desks and other student items).

The school was built as a single structure in 1915; not realizing the boom Detroit was going through, by 1916 the student body had exceeded its limit. So, to compensate, another building was erected next door in 1917, intended as a girls’ high school. A few years later, the two structures were connected, making the whole school co-ed.

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The student body grew even larger after World War 2. Soldiers returning from the war came here to become students and finish their education.

Approximately thirty years later, in 1977, a new high school was built and the college therefore took over this building. This was more than just a school with classrooms, gyms, and stairs – as was typical of schools way back then – but it also it had an atrium, auditorium with balcony, elevator, and swimming pool.

As a joke, two kids set two wrestling mats on fire, but it quickly got out of hand and ended up burning the whole roof until it collapsed. I wonder how these two feel about that little incident now, decades later?

Time marches on. According to Ruin Road, “Into the 90s, the college went downhill and after missing two regular audits by the state, an investigation was launched; and the school was found to be the worst community college in the state.”

It closed in December 1995.

It re-opened as the Highland Park Career Academy as a high school and training school; but then around 2012 it was revealed that the president of the school board had embezzled around $200,000…the school took another nosedive.

With hopes, false starts, dead ends, and lack of funds, the school sits crumbling, deserted, and becoming beyond reasonable repair. Have a look at some photos below.

Abandoned Community College & High School, Detroit

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