Ulysses Grant Elementary and Middle School was built in 1926 as part of the Detroit School District's expansion efforts on the east side. Named for the noted American Civil War general and US President, Grant School was designed by architect George Mason, who also designed the Masonic Temple in downtown Detroit. Like other schools of the late 1920's, Grant was designed for expansion as the neighborhood around it grew. Half the school was built in 1926, while the second unit was finished in 1931, doubling the size of the school. An auditorium and gymnasium would be added in later years.
In later years, Grant had a K-8 program, meaning it was both an elementary and a middle school. Enrollment peaked in 1998 at 846 students, then began to fall through the 2000's, even as nearby schools closed and merged into Grant. By 2006 there were just 485 students, and the neighborhood around the school was deteriorating quickly. The district closed Grant at the end of the 2006 school year, citing poor academic results and the cost of repairs to the roof and plumbing.
The steel panels installed to cover the windows lasted until early 2013, when scrappers began hitting the school hard. By then, the interior of the school was in bad shape, as water had poured through the leaking roof into the floors below. Today the school has been stripped clean, and faces demolition unless a buyer can be found.