Jacksonvile's highways rendered this century-old grammar school unusable.

Jacksonvile’s Highways Rendered This Century-Old Grammar School Unusable

Jacksonvile’s Highways Rendered This Century-Old Grammar School Unusable

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Jan. 24 2017 5:45 PM

Jacksonville’s Crumbling, Abandoned Elementary School

8403283725_82029e846f_k_1
The auditorium at Annie Lytle Elementary.

Erin Murphy/CC by-SA 2.0

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world’s hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Built in 1915, this gigantic schoolhouse was originally christened as Public School No. 4, but was renamed Annie Lytle Elementary in 1957 in honor of a former principal. Unfortunately, the school only got to live under its new name for a few years before it was shuttered and abandoned.

When the highway system was constructed in Jacksonville, Florida, in the 1950s, I-95 and I-10 intersected a mere hundred feet from Annie Lytle Elementary. The school became isolated and inconvenient to get to, and the sound of traffic would drown out classes on the second floor.

8403290669_e9fbea37e2_k
A hallway in Annie Lytle Elementary.

Erin Murphy/CC by-SA 2.0

Advertisement

It closed for good in 1960 and was used as storage space for Duval County for some time before being officially condemned. A fire in 1995 caused part of the roof to cave in, and now nature has taken over the building. The school was almost demolished in 1999 and turned into condominiums, but multiple historic societies pressured the county to designate it a historic landmark. Annie Lytle Elementary received this honor in 2000, and dedicated volunteers have attempted to keep the grounds neat in the hopes that the property will someday be bought and repurposed. But nearly two decades later the school remains derelict and empty aside from the urban explorers who trespass there.

As with any abandoned place, the school has its fair share of ghost stories (everything from psychotic janitors to schoolkids who perished in a boiler room explosion). Jacksonville police assure that all crimes in the building occurred after its abandonment, in particular graffiti and squatting.

If you liked this, you’ll probably enjoy Atlas Obscura’s New York Times best-selling book, which collects more than 700 of the world’s strangest and most amazing places: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders.

 

Atlas Obscura is the definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places.