George Brady School – Detroit


School Exterior

The Goerge Brady School opened in 1923 and served 350 students with thirteen teachers during its first year in operation. It was named after George Newton Brady, a native Detroit businessman known for his involvement in various charities, including the Michigan Fresh Air Society and the Boy Scouts Movement.

The school is a Neo Gothic Style elementary school designed by architecture firm Malcomson & Higginbotham. It is constructed of brick and has stone trim for the quoining, crenellation, cornice treatment and window trim. The most interesting features of the building’s interior are the Pewabic tilework, wainscot, and the carpentry. The two most interesting spaces are the auditorium and gymnasium. There is also a fallout shelter in the basement with supplies, you know, in case of communist invasion. The buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places; however, that fact has done little to help preserve the structures.

Brady School is the first academic facility in Detroit to be built using the “Brady Plan”. The Brady Plan was an architectural system designed to accommodate facility expansion. According to Detroit Urbex the plan became central to the building program of the Detroit Board of Education at the time. Grant, Parker and Courville schools were also built according to the Brady Plan. There were two additions to the Brady School. In 1924 a second unit was added to expand the original facility. It increased the school’s capacity to 1,320 children. Then, in 1961 a five room building was added on the northeast corner of the site to function as the school’s kindergarten.

While Detroit’s financial implosion made headlines during the housing market collapse and subsequent recession, its school system had been in financial trouble for decades. By the start of the recession in 2007, enrollment was down to one sixth of what it was during the 1960s. Around that time many schools where closed including this one. Closing in 2007, the school was sealed and patrolled for a time to keep scrappers and vandals at bay. Photos of the school from 2013 show a secure building and according to Detroit-ish the building was once fitted with motion sensing cameras to catch any trespassers that made it inside. However, in its current state of decay the place is wide open to people, animals and the elements. Nobody seems to care about it anymore. While we were standing in front of the school with camera gear a cop drove by and didn’t even slow down.

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3 Responses to George Brady School – Detroit

  1. victoria herron says:

    I attended Brady in 1964-67. I remember Mr. Jones/Holt, the best gym teachers, Mrs. Lemon, science, Ms Griffin Social Studies, Mrs. Klegic administration.


  2. Gp Martin says:

    I attended Brady from 1952-57 and have many fond memories of the building and teachers..and Principal Miss Sullivan. Another tragic loss!


  3. Tyrone Braga Santiago says:

    Hi, I am from Brazil. Brazilian Educator Anísio Teixeira had the opportunity to visit Brady School in the late 20’s. This visit inspired him to plan a building of schools such as Brady in Brasil. And so he did. They are the so called platoon school , model that he had seen in Brady School. So, platoon schools were built in Rio de Janeiro in the 30’s and the most beautiful and bigger one is in Salvador, Bahia, Brasil. It is called Escola Parque or Park School . It was founded in 1950 and now it is celebrating 70 years of service in a still platoon based fashion.
    Brady School is mentioned in Anísio Teixeira’s book “Aspectos Americanos de Educação or American Aspects of Education, published in 1929.
    It is very disappointing to know that Brady School does exist anymore.


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