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Fair Avenue and Green Lea Place, Fairgrounds

I drove by Harrison School years ago, and it’s deeply depressing to see how bad of shape it is in nowadays. In other words, it is totally trashed, and just about all of its windows are knocked out (protective fencing on some windows gives the appearance that some glass is intact).

It’s a nice stout building, and I’m sure it could be fixed up, but the surrounding neighborhood is in rough shape. It is really sad.

A repair shop has decided that since nobody from SLPS is noticing, he’s going to just go ahead and use a portion of the old playground for his own private junkyard.

Across the street, there is a row of wood frame houses, showing that there was some very early development out this way. Many of the houses are burned out or abandoned.

Around the corner onto Green Lea Place, there are many nice houses, but there are so many abandoned buildings mixed in between the carefully maintained ones.

There is just a shocking amount of litter on the ground, too.

13 Comments

  1. Interesting, I was photographing this school recently & felt it didn’t look too bad. Considering it hasn’t been used since the mid-90s I think it looks pretty decent. Yes, windows are gone but there’s no grafitti to be found, bricks didn’t appear to be missing, & the grounds aren’t covered with litter. In comparison to the majority of SLPS schools that have only been vacant for 5-10 years, it looks great. What I thought made it appear in rougher shape was the condition of the brick & stonework, it’s dark & depressing & could definitely benefit from some power washing.
    Sadly, noone will be taking care of this school anytime soon. SLPS no longer owns it. It was purchased by a private company in 2007 & doesn’t appear to be on their radar either.
    As you said, I don’t believe this branch really has a chance of getting the love & attention it needs due to it’s location.
    Very unfortunate.

    • Ah, so they did sell it? I hear about how difficult it is for responsible parties to buy surplus schools, but yet they sold to this owner?

      • Indeed. It was sold to a developer who was planning to turn it into apartments. Clearly those plans didn’t come to fruition.
        I feel like there should be a clause in contracts on the surplus schools; If you don’t follow through with plans presented within a certain time frame then the sale is null & void.

  2. Chris, I was just thinking an interesting project for you might be a post highlighting the best $1 LRA properties still available.

  3. The school had a focus on exploring the history and geography of the city. I painted a scene with the Old Couthouse outside the Cafeteria. Harrison was one of a couple of schools that I taught at during my time in SLPS: Bevo-Long and Froebel were two others (there’s one more on the far North Side that I can’t remember.) Oddly, each time I got some random room or had to “art on a cart” because the previous art teacher had messed up so bad. When they saw I had my act together, they moved me to the actual art room. Then, Central Office would move me to another building the next year.

  4. Harrison Elementary had a focus on exploring the history and geography of St Louis. I painted a scene with the Old Couthouse outside the Cafeteria. Harrison was one of a couple of schools that I taught at during my time in SLPS: Bevo-Long and Froebel were two others (there’s one more on the far North Side that I can’t remember.) Oddly, each time I was assigned some random room or had to do “art on a cart” because the previous art teacher had messed up so badly. When they saw I wasn’t like that, they moved me to the actual art room. Then, Central Office would assign me to another building. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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