Chandler Elementary School Building in Detroit-to be torn down?

Zachariah Chandler



My first elementary school was Chandler Elemementary School on Detroit’s eastside. Of course, the school was named for Zachariah Chandler, Radical Republican- during the administration of Abraham Lincoln. I actually made a visit to the school as an adult in 2003. The school seemed so small! Still, it had a lot of fond memories for me. It was at that place that I learned how to read. I remember running home from the school (my family lived on Holcomb St.) to tell my folks that I could read. And, yes, it was from the book that had texts like: “See Jane run.”  I remember the classrooms had the traditional framed pictures of Lincoln and Washington. There were no problems in the school at that time-children were still respectful and teachers weren’t overwhelmed with classroom sizes that were unmanageable. Students recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  I had no idea who Zachariah Chandler was. But as a boy growing up while living in Detroit, the name “Chandler” was all over the eastside. I went to the library at Chandler Library. I played at Chandler Park- and when I learned how to bowl- I went to Chandler Lanes.

Now the school is empty. Driving by the school earlier in the year, I noticed that one of the protective window coverings had been torn off. That means vandals had gotten in. It will only go downhill from there. In scanning the Internet, I read that the school will be torn down. For information on the school and plans to tear it down see:


From the photographs on the link, I see the vandals have done their work. Another great building in Detroit will be lost. The school was so thriving in my childhood is forever gone. The memory of the school’s namesake-Zachariah Chandler- forgotten also.

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One Response to “Chandler Elementary School Building in Detroit-to be torn down?”

  1. Pamela Jester says:

    I grew up on Holcomb Street and went to Chandler for 6 years. I have fond memories of that school and the teachers so special and really cared for us in those days. I drove by this summer and discovered that the building was going to be torn down. I was so disgusted to see yet another great historic building being torn down, but then, I asked myself “what could I have done to make a difference”?

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