December152012

St. Charles Elementary School
St. Charles, Iowa

A classic multi-story elementary school including wonderfully warped, iron fire escape. Schools and buildings like these in general are some of my favorite places to visit. Their large, square, imposing design are characteristic of early 20th century architecture.

The building itself is in fairly good condition for its age; its likely that it was still used as a school within the past decade but I cant find any information specifically regarding when it was closed. There were several “keep out” signs in windows around the property with another flier stating how the building will be turned into public housing. Judging from how faded the fliers were though, I honestly doubt that will be happening. 

The playground equipment has been removed, but the large gravel area remains. I could almost here the echos of school children playing when I walked through it. Behind the school is the basketball court, and baseball field; both are overgrown and the fencing rusted and twisted. 

Edit:
A friend of mine told me some more info about the recent past of the school:
 ”it was 10 or 11 years ago last used as a school, and the town almost moved the library there. there was a year around the changeover where on a few Fridays in the fall/winter they opened up the gym for free-play and pick up basketball. i know the apartments thing was talked about around ‘02-‘04. The 10 or 11 years is based on my math of when i knew a student there, that only rode the bus 1 year as last on in mornings and first off in afternoons, and i think that started after kindergarten, not during. But not 100% sure, hence the 10 or 11 years ago.”

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