The Abandoned Halls of St. Albertus School

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Sara: Nestled on the corner of Willis and St. Aubin, in the heart of Forest Park in Detroit is a historic site; St Albertus Catholic church. Next door lies the remains of what was St. Albertus Catholic school, which opened in 1874. The school was so popular, two more schools were actually built in the years following to accommodate the high enrollment rate of the Polish community. However, by 1966, most of Detroit's Poles moved to Hamtramck, leaving little reason for the school to stay open. Though there are caretakers for both St. Albertus church and the school, it's appearance has fallen over the years.

During the early spring of 2017, my friends, Stone Cloverwere utilizing St. Albertus church as a set for a video shoot. Being one of their photographers as a side-gig, I was there to take some behind the scenes photos of the shoot. This church and school have always been of great interest to me, as they are located a mere two blocks from my employer. I walked past them both while stretching my legs on lunch breaks loads of times, and I had always been interested in seeing what the insides of these buildings looked like. Now I had my chance. We hadn't set foot in the church for five minutes before our friends found us and asked to show us the now abandoned school next door.

 It was a cold, rainy, grey afternoon, and the Silent Hill vibes were strong.

Jeremy: You ever seen Session 9? Grave Encounters? A goddamn portal to hell itself? What i'm trying to say is, what semblance of a school this building once had has long since decayed into what can only be described by this writer as, "some real decrepit shit". We showed up for some behind the scenes video shots, but what we got was one of the coolest self guided tours of an abandoned location i've personally ever had. I can only imagine how much stronger the vibe of unease would have been if we could have explored here after dark. But, even in broad daylight, a deep sense of dread permeated throughout. Surprisingly, unless i'm mistaken, I couldn't find any evidence of any films being shot here. Which, to me, is a shame. The pictures we have here can't even do justice to what would be a perfect location for a devilishly good ghost film.

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The school itself is actually quite large, far more space than we ended up having time to explore from top to bottom. What we have chosen to include here,  (in addition to the rest of the photos found on our Flickr) highlights what I think are the most important sights to be taken in. I can't imagine this is the easiest location to get into. But, if the opportunity ever presents itself,  definitely look into exploring St. Albertus. No amount of photos can really capture its assault on the senses, such as that feeling of the floor threatening to cave in at any moment, and the lingering sense of dread of something very off , lurking around each corner. Ironically enough, the church next door is a complete juxtaposition to this desolate location, providing some truly breathtaking architecture, despite its less than reputable surroundings.

Sara: Though there is a plethora of abandoned buildings all over Detroit, it is often difficult to access many of the larger ones without special permission. The caretakers were very awesome for letting us check the school out, as it is locked and gated pretty well under their supervision. This was also only a few months after Jeremy and I had come up with the idea for this blog, and I knew that we would have to do a post on St. Albertus Catholic school. I would love the opportunity to return one day and take some more creative photos, but I think these shots of the old school in its raw, neatly decaying form are still aesthetically pleasing on their own.

We have a notebook with lists of places we are fully planning to explore, from trips to Portland, Oregon, to all over the upper peninsula. It feels eerily perfect to have our first abandoned building post be one that is in Michigan's backyard, and it won't be the last. 

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Check out Deroiturbex.com's full article on St. Albertus Catholic School 
All photos by Foxy Cat Coven 

Comments

  1. my uncle lives on that property. idk if ya know him or nah, his name is kyle.

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