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  1. #1

    Default Wyandotte's Theodore Roosevelt High School - What's inside?

    Roosevelt High has a very intresting history, going through a renovation and four expansions. This will look at what the school looks like almost 90 years after it's groundbreaking. Many new German, Italian and Polish immigrants settled in Wyandotte during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it's population grew even more when it annexed the village of Glenwood (located west of the (then DT&SL, MC, NYC and DT&I) railroad tracks, which were then Wyandotte's western boundary) in 1905.

    As a result, in the 1910's, the schools in the city sufferred severe overcrowding problems. The proposal of a new high school was rejected in 1912 and the old McKinley Elementary was renovated in 1914 in an attempt to solve the overcrowding. Back then, the city's high school was on Oak Street less than a block from the tracks.

    In 1918, Fred Watson Frostic entered the scene, a year later he proposed a new high school, so the residents chose the site. Many preferred the site on the northeast corner of Eureka and 5th Street. Since 1901, new Wyandotte public school buildings were named for former US presidents, the new high school was named Theodore Roosevelt High School. It would be built on the site of the city's horse-racing track. Construction began in 1921 and was open to the first students two years later.

    It would recieve a new walled football stadium in 1937, twenty years later a new music and shop annex was built. Construction continued in 1962 with the math and science annex. Then in 1970 a major renovation began, which converted every room in the original building, added a new wing with a new cafetorium, pool, gym, planetarium, administrative offices and commons area, also a new athletic field was built west of the original, along the railroad tracks. The renovation was complete in 1975, no further construction occurred until the 21st century, in 2003 a new turf football field was erected along with a new wing which included another gym, a weight room and a running track.

    OK, enough with the history, let's get to the photos:

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    We are looking down from the main stairway down into the lobby, looking towards the main entrance. The marble floor in the lobby is Serpentine from Roxbury, VT. The white marble is from Rutland, VT. The white marble used in the stairway is from Carrara, Italy.

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    This buzzer may be original to the building. There are two visible ones, the entrances they can be found at are above each other. This one is on the third floor.

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    This may be the office for the school newspaper. On the second floor.

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    This door leads into the Language Arts Department office in the center of the second floor of the original building. This was the original library.

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    This hallway is on the first floor of the 1962 addition.

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    We are looking east on Eureka towards the Detroit River. The views out the windows of the school have changed as the city has evolved and grew.

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    This is the "Wall of Fame" dividing the planetarium and commons area in the 1975 annex.

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    This plaque shows who built the 1962 addition (the plaque says 1961).

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    This door leads to a computer lab on the third floor. This was formerly the dining room.

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    This looks down a hallway in the 1957 annex.

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    This view is of the railroad viaducts over Eureka Road. Back in 1923, the road crossed the tracks at-grade. In 1928, as the motor traffic increased the road was widened and the viaducts were built. Currently, the road in Wyandotte has five lanes, the four main travel lanes plus the center lane used only for left turns.

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    This shows the mural of Roosevelt athletes on the west wall of the hallway connecting the commons area and the 1975 gym.

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    The main part of the 2003 annex was this gym and running track.

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    This plaque is on the west wall of the main entrance. If you can't read it, it says: "Accordingly as we do well or ill, so shall mankind in the future, be raised or cast down.", which is a quote by Theodore Roosevelt.

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    This plaque in the 1957 annex shows the people who built it.

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    This door leads down into the school's basement!

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    This hallway just west of the main entrance used to end at the original swimming pool.

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    This is the second-floor buzzer.

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    This view looks to the north, you can see the roofs of many houses along Maple, Elm etc.

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    This view looks at the football field added in 1975 and converted to turf in 2003. You can also see the railroad tracks.

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    This is the official White House portrait of Theodore Roosevelt and it can be found shortly after entering via the parking lot entrance. It formerly hung at the main entrance.

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    In the 1975 gym, this wall has plaques with the logos of the high schools that were in the former Michigan Mega Conference. Today Roosevelt is in the Downriver League.

    Comment on these photos and tell us your personal stories about the high school.
    Last edited by mtburb; January-28-11 at 05:03 PM.

  2. #2
    muskie1 Guest

    Default

    It looks like any other old school to me. Drove by it many times never guessed it was that old. Lacks any real character to guess the age from the road, unlike alot of the old ones in Detroit or Fordson in Dearborn.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by muskie1 View Post
    It looks like any other old school to me. Drove by it many times never guessed it was that old.
    I know the school was built six years before the stock market crashed.

  4. #4

    Default

    My aunt and uncle graduated from there in the 50's (Kraft). I've always wondered what the interior looked like. Thanks for posting!

  5. #5
    gdogslim Guest

    Default

    ""Wyandotte-s-Theodore-Roosevelt-High-School-What-s-inside"]Wyandotte's Theodore Roosevelt High School - What's inside?""
    Umm, Teddy Roosevelt's picture on the wall ? oh yeah, there it is

    i'm kidding, nice pictures, very nice high school.

  6. #6

    Default

    It would be built on the site of the city's horse-racing track.
    Ive been looking for some reference to this location for a long while.
    Many thanks.

    Might anybody be aware of more material references on the existence of the horse track at Wyandotte?

    Considering the former horse track was located so close to the railroad?
    Could it have been part of what was known as the "Short Ship Circuit"?
    If so there would have been some types of ramps and loading docks on the location.

    Maps?
    Dates?
    Photo's?
    Last edited by wilderness; January-28-11 at 10:17 PM.

  7. #7

    Default

    I'm sure everybody's been losing sleep awaiting this info

    Sent a request to the Wyandotte Historical Society on Thursday and received the following from "Sarah" on Friday:

    Wyandotte's horse racing tracking was located on the present day Roosevelt
    High School athletic field. The track, managed by the Wyandotte Driving
    Association, was created in 1889 and went out of use shortly after WWI.
    Unfortunately, I was unable to find any pictures of the race track. The bit
    of information that I did find came from Proudly We Record and Our Fame and
    Fortune in Wyandotte, both written by Edwina DeWindt. They can be purchased
    in the museum gift shop or borrowed from the Bacon Library.
    end of quote

    Sarah also suggested I visit the Bacon Library in Wyandotte, which offer the Wyandotte Herald (published weekly) back to at least the 1840's..

    The track area was also known as "Forty Acres".

    I visited Bacon on Friday and returned again today.
    Bacon has two photo's of the former race track (one of a horse on the track near the judges stand, and the other photo of the grandstand), a very large map on their wall which shows an outlined location of the former track, in addition they've a book image of a 1914 Poster advertisement that was promoting the races by the "Wyandotte Driving Park Assoc., however hosted at another track that was known as "Singer's Track".

    The curator at Bacon was able to locate a reference noting the Singer track was on the former Singer Farm (approx 150-acres; some of which remains open sports field today) near Fort St. and Pennsylvania Roads.

    On Thursday I located and July 15,1892 article on microfilm, which explained the July 4th races had not been held due to flooding of the track area.
    There was some discussion to reschedule the races for 1892, however that was dropped.
    Wyandotte Driving Park Assoc., also discussed the possibility of raising $8,000 in stock to add buildings and other improvements in the future.
    I'm sure the 1893 market crash ended all those plans.
    In any event the 1892 article stated that the race entries were low because the intended total purse distribution was a mere $200 (quite low even for then).

    In summary, I'm inclined to believe that there was never any real success for harness racing in Wyandotte (although the 1914 poster offered $700 in purses (which BTW was the goal of the Driving Assoc when they were looking forward to 1893).

    Considering the close proximity of Wyandotte to the former Detroit International Fair Grounds at Delary (There's another thread that offers some links to 1890 pics from Burton and that same fair), adds still more support for any lack of success Wyandotte may have had for harness racing.

    Many thanks again for providing the lead that resulted in this information.

    BTW, both the "Forty Acres" and "Singer" tracks were half-mile perimeter's.
    Last edited by wilderness; February-05-11 at 08:37 PM.

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