Harriet Marsh Elementary School was built in 1955 and was located at 18600 Wadsworth Street near the corner of Greenview Avenue on Detroit’s far west side. Marsh Elementary School was a basic, brick one-story structure that was designed in a simple modern style. Marsh Elementary School was a small school and it had an “L-shaped” floor-plan that consisted of administration offices, classrooms, a gymnasium, and an auditorium. Throughout the years, Marsh Elementary School served an average of 300 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Harriet Marsh Elementary School was named after Ms. Harriet Marsh, who was a famous author. Alumni and former students of Marsh Elementary School were known as the “Marsh Stars,” as their school mascot was a star. Marsh Elementary School was a property of the Detroit Public Schools system.
Marsh Elementary School was “flagged” for closure by Detroit Public Schools due to low enrollment and low functioning. Marsh Elementary School had always had a steady enrollment, but by the 2000’s the number dropped to approximately 150 students. Marsh Elementary School also had trouble keeping up with the national average for testing scores. With Marsh Elementary School using only approximately 50% of the school’s capacity, it became apparent that something needed to be done. With the drastic decrease in enrollment and combination of low performance, it was evident that Marsh Elementary School was in deep trouble. In 2005, Marsh Elementary School was forced to close it’s doors for good.
When Marsh Elementary School closed in 2005, the school was one of the original Detroit Public School properties that were boarded up with large, brown- wooden boards. Detroit Public Schools (DPS) covered all of the doors and windows of Marsh 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. Marsh 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 and as a result, Marsh Elementary School fell victim to scrapping and vandalism.
In 2015, Marsh Elementary School was finally demolished.