Old Cass Tech To Be Torn Down

DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit high school that graduated such famous stars as Diana Ross, rocker Jack White and comedienne Lily Tomlin will begin coming down, Wednesday.

The Detroit Public Schools says demolition will get underway at 10 a.m.  on the old Cass Technical High School. Crews will begin work on the extension built at the school in 1981 that housed the cafeteria and the athletic wing. In June, they’ll begin the tear down of the rest of the 90-year-old building.

Until 1977, Cass was Detroit’s only magnet school and the only non-neighborhood enrollment school in Detroit. Today, Cass is one of few magnet schools in Detroit.

Construction began  in 2002 on the new Cass Tech, located directly north of the old building.  During the 2005–2006 school year, Cass Tech faculty, students and staff moved into the new building.

In December of 2009, the old school was listed among fourteen vacant buildings slated for demolition under a $33 million plan unveiled by the Detroit Public Schools and funded by bond programs approved by voters.

“Vacant schools across Detroit have been blights on the community and safety hazards for far too long,” said DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb,  in a statement. “Thanks to the taxpayers of Detroit … we can now move forward with substantially changing the landscape of the city and remove these long-standing eyesores,” he said.

What do you think about the demolition of Cass Tech? Do you have memories of the old school? Comment below.

  • Barbara Allen Esler

    My grandfather, E. G. Allen, came to Detroit in 1910 to develop the curriculum for Cass Tech and, I believe, had a lot of say in the design of the building. He served as assistant principal in charge of curriculum until the early 1930’s, when he became principal until his retirement in the early 1940’s. He hired a lot of the early faculty. My father, Gordon Allen, taught music at Cass in the 1920”s and again in the 1940’s, when he was also stage manager. Before Ford Auditorium and Cobo Hall were built, Cass auditorium was one of the municipal auditoriums, along with the two at Masonic Temple, and it was busy seven days a week. My mother and I spent many hours hanging curtains, arranging sets, and getting the stage ready for special events. Although I understand this has to happen, it wrenches my heart to have that property become a paved parking lot for the current Cass Tech students.

  • Dillmom

    Graduated Feb 1974. Many fond memories. So sorry to see another landmark fall into disrepair and be demolished.

  • Cheryle R.C. Hanna

    My dad graduated from Cass Tech. I graduated from Cass Tech and all four of my children graduated from Cass Tech; two from the old and two from the new. yet, they did not benefit from the space that removal of the old would have afforded. it is about time!

  • Hope

    I graduated from Cass Tech in 1988. I am very saddened by the news of the demolition. However, I understand that the current citizens of Detroit must write a new chapter for our great city. I keep Cass Tech students, faculty, and alumni as well as all of Detroit in my prayers.

  • Lola59

    1966-1969 Chem/Bio Homeroom with Mr. Casey(?) on the 2nd floor. Didn’t know the building was gone until I visited Detroit last weekend. Necessary but very sad.

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