Cass Tech High School in Detroit - Cheer Pick
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Cass Tech High School in Detroit

by Cheer Pick
Cass Tech High School in Detroit

Michigan’s 82nd-ranked Cass Technical High School. Advanced Placement® courses and tests are available. Cass Technical High School has 42% AP® participation.

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Cass Technical High School is the 82nd best high school in Michigan. Advanced Placement® coursework and exams are available to students. Cass Technical High School has a 42% AP® participation rate.

Cass Tech High School in Detroit
Old Cass Technical High School on Second Avenue.
 Wikimedia Commons, pub-1975398499445207, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Cass was governor of the Michigan territory from 1813 to 1831. He was also Andrew Jackson’s secretary of defense and James Buchanan’s secretary of state. In 1848, he ran for president as the Democratic Party’s nominee. When Cass opened in 1907, there were already three high schools in Detroit.

Early 1900s Detroit high schoolers graduated 35% and 10% went to college. Cass Union’s principal, Benjamin F. Comfort, said industrial training will reduce dropouts. 1908: Wales C. Martindale studied throughout Europe. He chose Cass for the experiment and made Comfort its first principal. Comfort was one of nine founding teachers.

Commercial and shop classes were the first to be offered at the school. Many taxpayers slammed the proposal as a waste of money. The number of students enrolled increased from 110 in 1907 to 700 in 1909. Cass Union School built a wing to meet demand in 1909, but the previous structure burned down in November of that year. Classes were held in the new building as well as a church on Woodward and Sibley Avenues.

Cass Tech’s first graduating class consisted of six or seven students in 1910. The following year, the council approved $225,000 (more than $5 million today, adjusted for inflation) for construction on the Cass Union site. Cass Tech High School in Detroit first opened its doors on October 23, 1912.

Cass Tech High School in Detroit
The Cass Tech auditorium in 1930.
Photo from the Walter P. Reuther Library.

Employers frequently provided monetary compensation to Cass students, communicated with faculty members, and viewed the school’s facilities. According to a pamphlet provided by the school district, Cass Tech High School is intended for “the guy who wants to be a better worker and the man who wants to be a better worker.” It is expected that Detroit will have the largest percentage of skilled workers in all of the manufacturing industries.

The ever-increasing student body of Cass Tech High School rendered the brand-new structure inadequate shortly after it was first occupied. The number of students on the school’s waiting list was 200, but hundreds more had applied, so the administration decided to provide nighttime sessions. Even back then, navigating the process of changing classes was challenging. 1,500 students were serviced daily across 20 classes and a limited number of lockers.

By 1915, Detroit had produced two-thirds of the nation’s automobiles, and its population had risen from 465,766 in 1910 to just under 1 million. Booming industries and a growing population persuaded the city to construct a new structure. Before construction began in 1916, the Board of Education organized 11 fundraising campaigns. When the $2 million ($28.7 million today) became available, a war was raging, and the government began limiting wartime funding, so construction was delayed once more.

Before Cass Tech High School

Malcolmson & Higginbotham designs and Albert Kahn builds. In 1922, The Detroit News called it the largest, most modern, and best-equipped high school in Detroit, Michigan, and the country.

On September 11, 1922, the $8.3 million, eight-story building opened to the public. Forty-Nine Million Dollars The city fire marshal deemed the project a fire threat because of its inadequate planning and cost overruns. Educators have raved about the beautiful and effective building. Educating young ladies in the finer points of secretarial work, typing, handwriting, shorthand, and bookkeeping, the High School of Commerce served as a sort of finishing school for female students. Emphasis was placed mostly on training for careers in business.

Cass Tech High School in Detroit
Cass Tech High School | Pinterest

Cass Tech was the first technical school in Detroit, and its establishment contributed to the city’s shift from a classical to a practical educational philosophy. In 1972, The Technician, a high school publication, asserted that Detroit had developed. It was a college preparatory school where the top student was lauded more than the quarterback.

From 1965 to 1996, Mike Poterala taught college-prep math at Cass Tech. I spoke with Cass Tech alumni who said they took qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, and organic chemistry in high school when I was a student at the University of Michigan. “I was curious, ‘What is this?'” I used the word “chemistry.” College was easier for Cass students than high school.

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The Victory Memorial Arch, a second-floor Gothic bridge, joined Cass Tech and Commerce (later known as Vernor Highway). It opened in 1922 and was dedicated to WWI high schoolers. The middle panel read “Victory Memorial, 1917-19.” It was built to save teachers and pupils time and keep them dry. Cass Tech English teacher Mr. Ray created limestone. $400k (around $5.2m currently).

When combined with Commerce High, the new school could accommodate 4,820 students. Cass Tech’s cafeteria was shared.


In addition to brick and limestone, the school’s exterior also features marble vestibules and bas reliefs depicting scenes from the industrial revolution. Light courts let in plenty of daylight. The hallways are terrazzo, but the classrooms and gymnasiums have hardwood flooring. Drop ceilings now cover the former barrel ceilings.

Cass Tech High School in Detroit
Cass Tech, on the left, was connected via a bridge to the High School of Commerce, right, which had served as the previous home of Cass Tech.
Photo from the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

The first level had a gym, a teacher’s lounge (with a fireplace), and a 3,000-seat auditorium with a balcony. The DSO recorded there. When the building opened, the ground floor had pharmacy and physics labs; the second had a machine shop and chemistry and bacteriology labs; the third held the library; the fourth had cooking and mechanical drawing classrooms and millinery shop rooms; the fifth had sewing labs and other shops; the sixth housed music and textile programs; and the seventh had the school’s first lunchroom, a foundry, and cooking and baking classes.

Cass expanded its curriculum to include art, bacteriology, chemical biology, metallurgy, and nuclear physics. Curriculum in schools has been revolutionized by technological advancements. Aeronautics was introduced by Cass after aircraft. When man decided to land on the moon, he began offering astronautics.

Students at Cass Tech were chosen based on how well they did, not where they lived. Cass’s achievement test could only be passed by the brightest and smartest students in the whole city. In March 1962, the Cass News said that some Cass students had to take buses for 90 minutes to get there. It became “almost unheard of in American secondary education,” and it offered 23 technical curricula.

“Cass Tech was a separate universe,” remarked 1961 alumnus Marshall Weingarden. “Cosmopolitan. It drew citywide crowds. Melting pot

By 1942, Cass had more than 4,500 pupils and was the largest in the state.

Cass Tech’s Decline

Cass Tech’s former Commerce High School was razed for the Fisher Freeway in 1964. The memorial arch was included. The Michigan State Highway Department paid $1.1 million for the construction. Augusta W. Ochs told the Free Press in May 1964, “I tried everything to save the school, even recommended they build a highway underneath us.” It falls. 14,000 alumni and 450 former staff members returned to the old building on May 22, 1964. 353 students graduated on June 17, 1964, the school’s final day.


In the 1970s, when the city school administration administered the accelerated school, there were concerns about the program in a school system where thousands of students were falling behind. At that time, more over 4,500 students attended Cass, and the school was deemed too tiny and deteriorating. As reported by the Free Press in May 1970, its supporters—alumni, students, parents, and teachers—fear that the physical deterioration is but a prelude. “The school and the concept it represents will cease to exist when the structure is no longer suitable.”

Cass Tech High School in Detroit
Cass Tech High School | Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

In 1985, the school received a contemporary-looking wing from Albert Kahn & Associates. The addition features a larger pool, six basketball hoops, a lunchroom, and a gym with 750 seats. The “Olympic-size pool” at the school was built using English, not metric, and is thus 12 feet too small. The extension did not stop the original structure from deteriorating.

The auditorium’s balcony was closed in 1992. Old Cass Tech pool was abandoned after expansion. One elevator worked in 2000. roof Pipes break frequently. Many say radiators heat and cool.

In March of 2000, the school district made public their intention to demolish the existing Cass Tech building and replace it with a brand new one. At the time, an article published in the Free Press remarked that “changing such an emblem would be a major message by the school district.” The act of destroying Cass would likely be upsetting. In order to gain access, generations of Detroit’s brightest young people have triumphed over rigorous entry examinations.

In 2002, north of the old structure, New Cass Tech was constructed. May 21, 2005, witnessed a ribbon-cutting, black-tie gala. When the school relocated, it left behind desks, teaching equipment, and mounted televisions. Five years ago, Cass Tech was abandoned. Near Detroit attractions such as the Fox Theatre and Comerica Park, it loomed ominously over Interstate 75.

Alumni lead

The CTAA PROACT group intends to convert Cass Tech’s 831,000 square feet into a multi-use facility with art galleries, studios, teaching spaces, retail, a performance space in the auditorium, and residential lofts utilizing the pools and three gyms. It first appeared on April 23, 2007.

Detroit Public Schools failed to protect Cass Tech from vandals and scrappers. Its copper and nearly all of its windows have been stolen or smashed. On July 30, 2007, vagrants or thieves set fire to the building’s midsection. The building’s exterior was unharmed, but its interior was, hampering efforts to save it.

Cass Tech High School in Detroit
Cass Tech High School| Paul Hitz fro

On December 7, 2009, the school was due to be demolished as part of a $33 million plan by Detroit Public Schools and voters who approved bond packages. “Vacant schools near Detroit have been safety hazards for far too long,” said Michigan’s governor. We can eliminate long-standing eyesores thanks to Detroit’s taxpayers.

The facility, according to the school system, puts the safety of Cass Tech students and others at risk. Despite interest, no specific proposal has been made, according to DPS spokesperson Steve Wasko. Wasko: “A good concept by itself won’t change a structure.”

Cass Tech High School in Detroit

“DPS disappoints.” HCTPS has maintained Cass Technical High School for years. Weingarden criticized DPS’s lack of collaboration in an open letter. “It’s hard to see prudent financial management in paying $5 million to $6 million to destroy a facility that may be used.” Destruction of culture is sad.

Cass Tech was a light of education and a symbol of the vitality of Detroit, generating professionals, artisans, engineers, and civic leaders. The destruction of lighthouses sinks ships. “All glory to God!” Thus concludes the world’s splendor.

Lost history

The 1980s addition of Cass Tech was demolished in the middle of December 2010. Numerous programmers are considering it, but time is limited. The district has promised to spend over $3 million demolishing the building, although it will solicit bids until spring 2011.

Cass Tech High School in Detroit
Another landmark is erased from the city skyline.
Steve Neavling for

On March 23, 2011, the Grand River Avenue expansion from the 1980s was destroyed. Early in August 2011 the last building was torn down.

Source: historicdetroit | Please dm for the further credit and for any removal

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