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Abandoned Places – William Hooper Councill High School (WCHS), Huntsville – Part 2 of 3

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Jan. 22nd, 2013 | 09:43 pm
posted by: jj_maccrimmon in abandonedplaces

Continuing the exploration...

As mentioned in several replies, WCHS was finally shuttered in the 1990-1 timeframe. The main cause was water. Much of the downtown and surrounding community around old Huntsville is undermined by natural springs and underground streams. By the time the Councill Community Center had closed, the building had been settling for over 60 years. Water was seeping into the foundation and the walls causing structural and electrical damage. The roof was last replaced in the 1970’s and given the warm, humid southern environment, it could only last so long.

1
Failing the grade photo School070FCa_zps59bc4adc.jpg
Failure was just a matter of time


2
Fail photo School082FCa_zpseb03cdeb.jpg
As we went deeper into one wing of the building, the city workers in my escort freely noted where the ceiling was no longer stable and that I entered at my own risk

3
Collapsed classroom photo School065FCa_zps8c6f9cf4.jpg

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Collapsed spotlights photo School067FCa_zpsc468b815.jpg
Notice the spotlights are still intact..

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Collapse photo School046FCa_zpsf9cc7427.jpg

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Collapse 2 photo School047FCa_zps4c4187b1.jpg
Ironically this collapse was using by the homeless and metals thieves to gain access

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Mickey didn't make it.. photo School048FCa_zpsd9e49478.jpg
Not everyone survived the collapse

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 photo School049FCa_zps0bf15f32.jpg
Moving into the service areas, the former lunchroom had survived mostly

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Former lunchroom photo School051FCa_zps0e80ec65.jpg
As a community center, the room was turned into an arts and crafts area

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Crafting (1991) photo School053FCa_zpsaa77c968.jpg
Newpaper dated 1991

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The Cake is a Lie photo School054FCa_zps7887a65c.jpg
The cake is a lie

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 photo School055FCa_zps9eb1ce66.jpg

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 photo School056FCa_zps8fdeb973.jpg

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Reunion Mugs photo School059FCa_zps86831a82.jpg
School reunion mugs

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Empty storage photo School057FCa_zpsa000652f.jpg
Empty storage

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Storage 2 photo School058FCa_zps8737c8f6.jpg

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Band Room photo School063FCa_zps61eaa8b7.jpg
Band Room

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Data photo School069FCa_zps47006e2d.jpg
Data?

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Windows 95 photo School068FCa_zps4620a6c7.jpg
Windows 95

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Windows to the past photo School084FCa_zps5b944611.jpg
Windows to the Past

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False ceiling 2 photo School080FCa_zps2d4c01f0.jpg
Going deeper into one section of the complex, I was surprised to see ceiling above the ceiling

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False Ceiling photo School071FCa_zps57795565.jpg
These areas had originally been designed as a multi-purpose area but when the High School was turned into a community center, high ceilings increased the heating cost and echoed horribly. Solution: acoustic tiles hung from the original ceiling. No need to pull down the old lighting fixtures.

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Pooh photo School073FCa_zpsa813c6b3.jpg
Circling back to head towards the old gymnasium was an area which had been a day care. What would Pooh say about the site now?.. ‘oh bother’

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 photo School088FCa_zps0de4236a.jpg

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Timeless photo School077FCa_zps8d192c26.jpg
Timeless

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Old flashlight photo School085FCa_zpscffc1837.jpg
Moving towards the gym I noticed this 1950’s era emergency light on the floor

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Broken photo School086FCa_zps63213035.jpg
Broken glory

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 photo School091FCa_zpsdbd0ee7a.jpg

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 photo School090FCa_zps8acfff82.jpg
Central courtyard and irises coming up

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School colors - same mascot as Grissom HS photo School087FCa_zpsfd230188.jpg
School colors in the former gym office

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Sleeping Bag photo School096FCa_zps2efe7862.jpg
As mentioned in a previous comment, the homeless are resourceful and willing to endure much to stay out of the weather. This was one of many sleeping bags we saw carefully placed in the building.

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Basketball 2 photo School100FCa_zpsdc3c36f0.jpg
The main gymnasium

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Basketball 1 photo School101FCa_zps9c04e3eb.jpg
Hoops

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Gym door photo School106FCa_zps0a02230b.jpg
Gym door and pulley


Part 3 to follow tomorrow

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Comments {17}

Eternity

(no subject)

from: insane_eternity
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 04:04 am (UTC)
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City worker escort? Must be nice not having to sneak around. Lots of interesting details there, like the ugly babies and "moldy" cake.

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JJ_MacCrimmon

(no subject)

from: jj_maccrimmon
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 12:01 pm (UTC)
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I've always been a strong proponent of trying to find legal means to get into, explore and photograph a site. I did look for entrances before, however, this building is owned and observed regularly by city employees including the police. I wasn't willing to use the hobo entry when I could still get in legally.

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hell on wheels!

(no subject)

from: octavekitten
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 04:35 am (UTC)
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that cake photo is awesome. i'm surprised it was so in tact.

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hemenwaykid

(no subject)

from: hemenwaykid
date: Jan. 25th, 2013 02:04 am (UTC)
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I am caught somewhere between awesome and horror. What....what is the outside? Mold? Burned marshmallow? What is this?

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JJ_MacCrimmon

(no subject)

from: jj_maccrimmon
date: Jan. 25th, 2013 02:29 am (UTC)
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The cake is a lie.. It's a plastic display like is used at store counters and restaurants.

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adafrog

(no subject)

from: adafrog
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 05:06 am (UTC)
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Great photos, thanks.

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JJ_MacCrimmon

(no subject)

from: jj_maccrimmon
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 11:53 am (UTC)
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Happy to offer them up. Wouldn't be as much fun otherwise.

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Mateo Malo

(no subject)

from: laviemoderne
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 05:13 am (UTC)
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I love dead Mickey.

Also, is that a real cake? If so, that is AWESOME! The cake is a lie...is that from something? I think I saw that phrase graffitied somewhere.

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JJ_MacCrimmon

(no subject)

from: jj_maccrimmon
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 11:49 am (UTC)
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I love making the occasional Portal reference because much of what we do is random exploration. Mind you, a Portal Gun would make it cooler.

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The Silver Wolf of Darkness

(no subject)

from: silvolf
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 09:04 am (UTC)
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I find the ceiling thing interesting because they left all the original fixtures up there.

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JJ_MacCrimmon

(no subject)

from: jj_maccrimmon
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 11:47 am (UTC)
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Municipal government took the expedient and cost saving method of covering up the old ceiling. I have to though, I was a bit surprised too.

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i'm gonna be the king of the yak drivers

(no subject)

from: deadish
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
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wow, those are some impressively destroyed ceilings.
also, i totally want that fake cake. <3

Reply | Thread

ioio10

(no subject)

from: ioio10
date: Jan. 24th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC)
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Very interesting, thanks for posting!
I love the fake cake, the text on the blackboard (Sat 29 June? Which year? 1991 I guess?), Mickey, the mugs, Windows 95 (cool! lol) and all the things that are still there! They really tell a story :)

Sorry for my bad English.

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Colorado Russ

(no subject)

from: russj
date: Jan. 25th, 2013 04:56 pm (UTC)
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The silver light fixtures made up of concentric ringsare just like the ones in the elementary school that I attended in the 1960s.

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likalaruku

(no subject)

from: likalaruku
date: Jan. 30th, 2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
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Abandoned places like these tell whole stories without narration.

& more like The Cake is Alive. Thing looks like a big ol burnt marshmallow.

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JJ_MacCrimmon

(no subject)

from: jj_maccrimmon
date: Jan. 31st, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
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Thanks (I think). I've used this form of narration in my posts for nearly 10 years now.

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