DETROIT — Closed in 2005, the shell of the former Cass Technical High School now beckons graffiti artists, thieves, alumni and “urban adventurers” who wander the hallways, play abandoned pianos and steal copper, according to a Detroit Free Press article.

The eight-story, 831,000-square-foot school once housed 4,000 Detroit Public Schools students, but might be demolished next spring if no one comes forward with an offer to redevelop the site, the Free Press reported. DPS has since built the new, $115-million Cass Tech next door, according to the Free Press.

District spokesman Steve Wasko told the Free Press that the district has tried in vain to secure the building against determined intruders, some of whom told the Free Press that they were attracted to visit the alma mater of entertainers like Diana Ross and Lily Tomlin.

"It's a constant battle with them," Wasko told the Free Press. "The destruction has been so extensive because people are stealing copper, stripping the building and knocking holes in walls. It's dangerous to be in there."

Canadian Peter McCullough, an urban decay photographer, told the Free Press, “It’s a beautiful building. There’s nothing like it. It’s a shame it’s going down.”

SOURCE:
Detroit Free Press, “The hidden world of old Cass Tech High School,” Dec. 3, 2010

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, “Trustee: Sell schools to prevent vandalism,” Oct. 29, 2010

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