Explore Everything

O.W. Holmes Elementary School

The story of how I got into O.W. Holmes was probably one of the scariest explorations that I have encountered.  As with every abandoned building in Detroit, I try to drive by the location(s) every chance that I can get because you never know when a location will be open.  This is how I get into most of my locations….pure and simple luck! I mean, I do dedicate the time and effort by checking on them often, so it’s only right that I get a break every now and again   It was no different for O.W. Holmes Elementary School.  I had been check on O.W. Holmes ever since it closed it’s doors.  About two years ago, I finally got lucky.  As I drove by the school on the south side of the building, I noticed a big truck parked out back and it was full of scrap metal from the school.  I continued to drive around to the north side and I noticed one of the doors was ajar.  I decided to go in for a closer look.  I parked the car and set up my camera gear.  I always set up my camera so people know that I am just “taking pictures” and I am there for no other reason.  As I approached the door that was ajar, I still did not hear anyone or see anyone.  I made a decision to open the door and take a step inside…. To be continued…..with more pictures coming!!

Picture 1: A huge O.W. Holmes Panthers mural meets people at the main entrance to the school.

Picture 2: The science room is in the midst of being scrapped.

Picture 3: One of the stairways has some nice scenery painted on the wall. Especially the Detroit skyline!  Nice job.

The University Club

The University Club was a fraternal organization where the city’s educated men could go to hang out. You had to graduated from a college in order to be a member of the club. The organization was founded in 1899. The building moved several times before it would move into it’s final home on East Jefferson in 1931. This building was designed by the architectural firm Smith, Hinchman & Grylls. It was considered to be a true architectural masterpiece because of it’s elegance. It was complete with racket ball courts. There were also 24 bedrooms on the third floor. The University Club went bankrupt in 1992. The YWCA took over until 2008 when it eventually went abandoned. The structure was sold 2 years later and was demolished in 2013.

Picture 1: Library 2009

Picture 2: Library 2011

Picture 3: Ballroom 2009

Picture 4: Ballroom 2011

I noticed you had pictures of Jones Elem, in Detroit. I was a student there from 1969-1975. I am the one who painted the portrait of Pres. Lincoln in that room. It was used as the lunchroom and the auditorium. Mr. Berlin was the art teacher at the time. It was a wonderful school.

You are kidding me?  So cool……how did you hear about me.  Check me out more on Detroit Unseen on Facebbook and Twitter.  I think that is so cool.  Jones aka Garvey School is getting scrapped so badly that it is barely standing now.

hey you, how are you?

Excellent…Im still living in Cass Corridor.  Still exploring….obviously.  My facebook and twitter is Detroit Unseen.  My exploring partner is actually John aka Detroit Urbex.  We go all the time.  I am now working at Ryan Correctional Facility as a counselor.  What about you?

Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School

Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School was originally slated for closure in 2007, but was kept open by neighborhood protesters. Enrollment at Holmes started rapidly decrease shortly after and never recovered. With a capacity of 637, just 330 students were enrolled in 2008. In 2008, O.W. Holmes was one of the few DPS schools with a majority white student population. As part of the 2010 master facilities plan, O. W. Holmes was scheduled for closure in 2012. The students were moved to the new Munger School. O.W. Holmes was demolished in October of 2013.

Fox Theater

Here is a few more pictures from my all access pass to the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan.

Photo #1: Famous people will often sign this “wall of fame” that is located near the dressing rooms.  You can clearly read Frank Sinatra front and center.

Photo #2: Even the bathrooms are extravagant at the Fox Theater.  This fireplace is located right outside the bathrooms in the basement of the theater.  All original in decoration and design, there is no theater in the world like the Fox. 

Fox Theater

Thanks to Sean for the all access pass to the all-too gorgeous Fox Theater.

Fox Theater

The Fox Theatre is an ornate performing arts center in the United States, located at 2211 Woodward Avenue in downtown, Detroit.  It opened in 1928 as a flagship movie palace, as part of the Fox Theater chain, it is noted as the first theater designed and built to include a speaker system for sound films.  The area surrounding the Fox in downtown Detroit is nicknamed Foxtown, in large part because the Fox is so famous.

The Fox has 5,048 seats (5,174 seats if removable seats placed in the raised orchestra pit are included). It is the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s and the largest of the original Fox Theatres. The Fox was actually partly vacant in the 1980’s and fully restored in 1988 (THANK GOD!!!!).  The adjacent office building houses the headquarters of Mike Illitch’s Little Ceasers Pizza empire.

Kresge Headquarters

Here is another post of the former Kresge/K-Mart Headquarters.  I was very lucky to get into this beautiful building.  I had a neighborhood meeting in one of the conference rooms.  Instead of paying attention to the meeting and taking notes, I wondered off and went searching for photographs to take.  After all, this is what urban explorers do best.  I snuck out of the meeting and went to explore the massive complex.  I was able to shoot the entire first floor and the second floor, and then I got caught on the third floor.  Some security guard said that he saw me on camera and said I didn’t have the “clearance” to be upstairs.  “Clearance? Seriously?” Like I was at the damn White House or something.  Anyway, I explained who I was and he let me go and told me to go back to the meeting. So I went on back down to the first floor, despite wanting to go up the stairs to the fourth floor.  So like I said, I got very lucky.  I didn’t get to go up past the third floor, but I was able to photograph most of the important rooms/details.  It was quite a location to explore and I’m glad I got the opportunity to do so.  It was just another famous/historic location that I get to add to the list.  Enjoy!

Kresge Headquarters

Kresge is also known as K-Mart.  The Kresge World Headquarters. is a limestone-faced building, constructed in the shape of a large E with the wings pointing away from the park.  It covers a city block, and has 250,000 square feet of office space. The central pavilion facing Cass Park is five-and-a-half stories; the wings are only four stories. The building is a mix of styles, with both Terra Cotta and Art Deco.  The ordered rows of windows emphasize the horizontal, while the classical Doric pilasters at the entrance emphasize the vertical. A band course separates the fourth floor from the lower levels, and the floors above have smaller windows that nevertheless resemble the lower-tier windows. The interior uses polished granite for the entrance with inlaid walnut paneling. Kresge used these offices until the firm moved to Troy, MI in 1972. For some years after that, the building was used by the Detroit Institute of Technology. The building is part of Wayne State, and has been used in part as an incubator for tech start-up firms known as the Metropolitan Center for High Technology. Offices for some Wayne State departments are still located in this building.