| 1900 (1900)|
27 March 2008
| 10017 W. Front St., Empire, Michigan|
The Empire School is a school building located at 10017 West Front Street in Empire, Michigan.
Empire School (Empire, Michigan) Wikipedia
The first school in Empire was the schooner "The Empire," from which the town derives its name. The schooner was icebound in the Empire harbor during the winter of 1865. In 1867, a permanent school building was constructed on Brotherton Road. A new two-story school was constructed in 1891. This school, however, was destroyed by fire in 1899. As a stopgap, classes were held in the Maccabees Hall until a replacement school could be built.
The district decided their new school should be a top-quality, four-room schoolhouse. Construction began in 1900 and was the new Empire School was completed in 1901. A gymnasium was added in 1932, using finds available from the Works Progress Administration. An old machinery storage shed was moved to the school property to house shop classes. In 1941, a small school building, the Boynton school, was moved from its original location to the Empire School to provide space for kindergarten classes.
However, school enrollment was declining. In 1958, consolidation of several area school districts, including Empire, began. By 1968, the Empire School shut its doors. A series of owners purchased the property for speculative ventures, and it was re-roofed in 2004, but the ventures did not pan out. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. As of 2012, a local group was attempting to convert the school into a community center.
The Empire School is a 10,000 square foot structure, and includes four classrooms and a gymnasium.