Edgar Guest / Mary McLeod Bethune School

Guest School was built in what was originally known as the Greenfield Township school district. A small two room building known as the John Meyers School was erected in the 1900’s, but was outgrown in a few years. In 1922, the school was demolished and construction on Guest School began. The first unit of the school, including 8 classrooms, was finished in 1922 or 1923.

Greenfield Township was annexed to Detroit in 1924, and Guest became part of Detroit Public Schools. A second 8 room unit was finished in 1925. Continued growth necessitated a third addition in 1929, and a fourth in 1931 that included a cafeteria and gymnasium in the center of the building. Designed for 1,500 students, the building had upwards of 1,600 at one point, but overcrowding was reduced in the 1960’s and enrollment went down to around 1,000.

In 1971 a new primary school annex was built down the street. The schools were renamed after Mary McLeod Bethune in 1976 or 1977. Enrollment at Bethune was 944 in 2003, but had slipped to 582 by 2008. Both the main school and annex closed in 2010 due to low enrollment. The annex was later sold to a church, but the original building didn’t find a new use. After being vacant for a number of years, scrappers broke into the building, leaving it open to trespass.