With 23 schools now slated for closure, it’s time again for architecture buffs to consider the fate of the buildings, one of which–Bok Technical High–is on the National Register of Historic Places. What will happen once the students are gone? The School District does not have a terrific legacy when it comes to dealing with its vacant property. If neighborhood residents think they’re upset about a school’s closure now, wait until they’ve watched a building sit for a year, get tagged with graffiti and play host to vandals and break-ins and violated fire codes.
If developers do some responsible adaptive-reuse jazz, that will be good–though there will always be objections and zoning challenges. But some of these schools simply aren’t in areas suited to new residential or commercial real estate development.
It’s too early to say what will happen. But here are just a few of the structures–and the murals–that are (at least for the moment) on the soon-to-be-vacant list.