Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

Parker Elementary School

In the 1926-1927 school year approximately 220,000 students were enrolled in Detroit's public schools. The Detroit Board of Education planned for the erection of five new school buildings that year in order to accommodate overcrowded conditions within many of the system's schools.

The George E. Parker Elementary School was one of these five new school buildings.

Newspaper accounts from the day note that the area was served by four, two-room "temporary wooden buildings" on the of 6.3-acre site prior to the erection of the permanent structure. The permanent school building was completed in November 1927 and designed by architects McGrath, Dohmen and Page.

The school had a capacity of 1400 and was arranged according to a 24-platoon plan, with 32 classrooms, a gymnasium and an auditorium. The school's initial enrollment was 1095 and housed grades one through eight. In 1973, a one-story, gabled-roof wing was added to the building's north elevation. Sometime between 2013 and 2017, the addition's exterior cladding was removed and the wing currently stands as a detached, open, steel-frame structure.

The Detroit Public Schools system, successor to the Detroit Board of Education, closed the building in 2012 and subsequently sold the property to the City of Detroit in 2015.

Last updated 01/05/2023