Project Description

Don Hubert Elementary School was built in 1921 and was located at 14825 Lamphere Street at the corner of Eaton Avenue, in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood on the city’s far west side.  Hubert Elementary School was a large, two-story structure designed in a modern renaissance architectural style.

Hubert Elementary School had a light-brick exterior with many rectangular features and angles. Hubert Elementary School had rows of glass-block windows around the entire façade.  The school also featured a mostly flat-roof, but it did feature a rooftop peak that hovered over one of the classroom wings at Hubert Elementary School.  In a strange location on the very back of the school, the old-English letters spell out “DON HUBERT SCHOOL” in sculpted stone above an old entrance.  Hubert Elementary School had an “P-shaped” floor plan that consisted of administration offices, classrooms, a library, two gymnasiums, and two auditoriums.  The school had a separate, smaller gymnasium and smaller auditorium so that the younger students didn’t interfere with the older students. The interior of the school featured skylights that allowed natural light to fill the hallways.  Throughout the years, Birney Elementary School served an average of 500 students from kindergarten through sixth grade.  Don Hubert Elementary School was named after Mr. Don Hubert, who was a local World War I hero that was killed in action.  He was the first Redford, Michigan resident that was killed during World War I.  Hubert Elementary School was a property of the Detroit Public Schools system.

Hubert Elementary School was another school that was “flagged” for closure by Detroit Public Schools due to low enrollment and low functioning. Throughout the years, Hubert Elementary School had almost 500 students enrolled annually, but by the 2000’s the number dropped down to around 300 students. With the drastic decrease in enrollment and combination of low test scores, it had became apparent that Hubert Elementary School was in deep trouble.

Hubert Elementary School closed in 2005. Hubert Elementary School was one of the original Detroit Public School properties that was boarded up with large, brown- wooden boards. DPS covered all of the doors and windows of Hubert Elementary School with these boards. The problem was that there was no way that wooden boards were going to keep scrappers out of the buildings. Over time the wooden boards would warp, bend, crack, and break and then they were even easier to remove. Hubert Elementary School’s boards stayed strong over the years, but eventually scrappers made their entrance in the back of the school. Several of the wooden boards were removed and the school had become rather easily accessible. Hubert Elementary School was scrapped, trashed, vandalized, and soon became an eye sore to the neighborhood.

In 2012, a large fire severely damaged a large section of the school and sealed the school’s fate for good.

As of 2015, Hubert Elementary School still sits abandoned and continues to fall apart. The Detroit Public Schools police still keep a close eye on the school and will prosecute anyone that gets caught trespassing on the property. Detroit Public School has announced the Hubert Elementary School will be demolished in 2015.