St. Louis voters recently overwhelmingly passed Prop S, which will allow the St. Louis Public Schools to issue bonds for much needed improvements to buildings, most of which are now over one hundred years old, though as anyone who will admit it, are extremely well built and will last for centuries if properly maintained. The high school I attended required the replacement of its exterior walls in the 1990s–twenty years after its construction in 1976. No, really.
The photo above is really crappy, but it shows what has happened to Mark Twain Elementary, in the eponymous neighborhood of North St. Louis. As Rob Powers said years ago, for many neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis, schools are the only major institution that the community has.
Since the last time I was here, another window has blown out, fallen out, or been stolen. Who knows? Imagine living across from this place.
St. Louis voters and taxpayers have a responsibility to watch closely and ask how Prop S money will be used. I can’t tell you how many abandoned schools I’ve photographed with relatively new windows that are sitting trashed.
The roof is failing now; luckily, these are concrete buildings so it is not a fatal collapse.
Or is it? Around back things are not looking good.
Further south, Central High School, which I last looked at back in 2017, is so shrouded in overgrown and dead trees that I didn’t even bother getting better pictures. It’s too depressing.
Will I be photographing an abandoned and trashed public school ten years from now that Prop S money was dumped into? Just being honest here.