Courville Elementary School, located on the northeast side of the city, was built in 1921 as part of a rapid expansion of the Detroit Public Schools system. Designed by the firm of Malcomson, Higginbotham & Palmer in the Collegiate Gothic style, the school was built in a modular style, with later expansion in mind. The first unit was finished in November of 1922, and opened in January of 1923. It was named for Elizabeth Courville, a highly-respected teacher and principal who died unexpectedly in a car accident in 1916. An addition in 1929 doubled the size of the school, adding more classroom space and a second gymnasium.
In later years the school became known for its music program. The Courville Concert Choir was a highly regarded performance ensable, with a repertoire "which includes everything from 18th century classics to gospel and urban pop," the Michigan Chronicle noted in 1996. The choir performed in cities across the country through the 1990's and 2000's.
In 2000, the school was over capacity, hosting nearly 1,100 students, but by 2006 enrollment had fallen in half to 570. As part of a district-wide consolidation, Courville closed in 2007. The reasons cited for its closure included the condition of the building, which included leaks in the roof, walls, boiler room, and flooring, as well as an overall decline in the population around the school.
The Courville Concert Choir moved to the Mason-Farwell School in 2008, and still performs today.
The school is slated for demolition in 2015.