Project Description

John Lynch Elementary School was originally built in 1917, but had a classroom addition in 1922 and a gymnasium/auditorium addition in 1973.  Lynch Elementary School was located at 7601 Palmetto Street, near the corner of Van Dyke Avenue, on Detroit’s east side.  Lynch Elementary School was designed by architect Louis W. Klei.  Lynch Elementary School was an elementary school that served the east side neighborhood students from Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade.  Lynch Elementary School was a property of the Detroit Public School (DPS) system.  Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, enrollment at Lynch Elementary School had always hovered between 500 and 600 students.  In 2003-2004, Lynch Elementary School’s enrollment had dropped down to 275 students and this was a sure sign that it was going to close soon.  John Lynch Elementary School was named after Mr. John Lynch, who was a local business owner and the Hamtramck Township (now the City of Detroit and Hamtramck) School Inspector.  Alumni and former students of Lynch Elementary School were known as the “Lynch Roadrunners,” as their school mascot was a roadrunner.

Lynch Elementary School was closed in 2005.  When Lynch Elementary School was closed, DPS left a lot of supplies behind.  DPS didn’t leave a lot of furnishings behind, but they did leave paperwork, books, and records.  Lynch 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 Lynch 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.  Lynch 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.  Although the school was pitch black (the boards still covered all the windows) and difficult to navigate, it had become another victim of the scrappers.

As of 2015, Lynch Elementary School still sits abandoned and boarded up.  Those wooden boards are still hanging on strong.  The Detroit Public Schools police still keep a close eye on the school and will prosecute anyone that gets caught trespassing on the property.  There are no current plans for demolition, redevelopment, or renovation.