As plans continue on a new $52 million new building set to open in fall, crews ramped up the nine-week demolition of Samuel C. Mumford High School in northwest Detroit.
The Art Deco building on Wyoming Street was built over several years in the late 40s and early 50s, opening in 1949, and is most famous for an appearance in the movie "Beverly Hills Cop," in which Eddie Murphy wore a Mumford High shirt that became popular out of the theater. As 2004 graduate Kimani Jeffrey thinks back on his time at the school, he says it's inspired him to go looking for his matching Mumford shirt.
"I've got a lot of memories," Jeffrey said. "I grew up in that neighborhood and I always wanted to go to Mumford … I finally got there in my junior year and I loved it. I thought after high school my life was going to end."
Clearly, Jeffrey's life didn't end after high school -- he is still friends with his group from Mumford, works for the City Planning Commission and is attending grad school for urban planning. Still, he said that, while he understands why the building should be demolished, he was a fan of its architecture and is still feeling the wave of memories from his high school days.
"It's kind of like an old pair of shoes that just dread letting go, just because of the memories that are attached to it," he said. "But many times you know you need to ... and move on to the new."
The demolition, undertaken by Detroit-based 1 Way Service, Inc., is part of the $500 million Detroit Public Schools Capital Improvement Program started in 2009. It also includes in-progress demolition of Robeson and Mackenzie Schools and past demolition of seven others.
As the student population shrinks, the district has an abundance of closed schools it is attempting to sell for redevelopment, an effort that has earned over $10 million since 2009.
Some student loss can be attributed to the 15 schools leaving DPS for the Educational Achievement Authority. Mumford has been assigned to the EAA and in the fall will be under the management of the new statewide district for struggling schools.
Below, see some photos of Mumford High School and other demolished, empty or repurposed DPS schools, from architectural historian and HuffPost blogger Tim Boscarino.
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