Councill High School
This was one of the schools for black people during segregation. It got closed down after desegregation, because of course white fokes wouldn't want to (gasp) go to a BLACK PEOPLE school.
"William Hooper Councill
High School Site
The first public school for African-Americans in the city of Huntsville was named for the founder of the Alabama A&M University. The site, selected by a committee headed by the Rev. W. E. Gaston, was donated by the Davis-Lowe family.
Founded in 1867 in the basement of Lakeside Methodist Episcopal Church on Jefferson Street, the school was moved to a frame building on this site in 1892. The first diplomas were granted in 1912. A brick structure replaced the original building in 1927.
The school was closed due to integration, graduating its last class in 1966."
I have a personal connection with the building because I took dance and theatre classes there when I was young; it was used as an arts building. Funds ran out for that, and it was occupied afterwards by United Way, until even they had to move out. Now it's just a home for squatters.
From the rear. The steeple belongs to a behemoth of a Baptist church.
From the side; the front is to the left.
The main door was chained and locked, but off to the side was a door propped open.
This is just inside that door.
First door to the left. Lots of electronics and-- HOLY CRAP, A DEAD BODY!
...or just a CPR dummy.
There was also a keentacular microphone. I would've swiped it if I were less law-abiding.
The next room was full of clothes, presumably left over from when United Way was in.
Across the hall was a closet full of music folders. I was hoping there'd be some sheet music I could swipe, but they were all empty. So sad.
Next to the closet was a room full of exercise equipment. I was amazed that it was all intact and not stolen, just like the clothes and electronics.
Off of that room was a bathroom. The window was blocked by a large cabinet.
After these rooms, a door to the right led to the gym.
When I took dance here, there were partitions forming small rooms, and one dividing the gym in half. Seeing the place without them was bizarre.
There were old broken records all over the floor.
There were also mysterious bumps in the floor.
I love the way the windows look in here. They looked the same way when I took classes there.
Off to one side of the gym was the main entrance. To the left as you enter the building is a room that, when I was there, was used as a playroom for the kids while they waited for class or to be picked up.
It was incredibly dark and creepy in there now; the flash belies this.
All the toys from then were gone, but there were pictures- presumably from the United Way people- on the walls.
"I believe In God and the to [illegible]"
Back through the gym, we get to the classroom areas of the dance group. Directly to the right as you exit is a large room that was used as a combo classroom/storage area.
It's now full of wood and woodworking stuff.
I'm not sure what these tags were for.
My adventuring buddy exploring the tool closet in the rear. Lots of keen stuff in here, including...
Free nails! Score! (Yes, I left them, because I'm a goody two-shoes.)
On the other side of the room was an adjoining office, full of Stuff.
Nice chairs, and a map of the city.
All kinds of stuff on the desk.
On the right as you leave the room is another ex-classroom, similarly filled with cool junk- chiefly chairs and filing cabinets.
In the back is a leftover sign from the dance school.
I have such nostalgia when I see those old wood and metal chairs. And... what's that on the old office chair there?
Why, free toilet seats! Huzzah!
Now it's time to move on to the second half of the building, where the theatre section was. Out the classroom, to the right.
The courtyard was overgrown like this for as long as I can remember, even when the building was in use.
The view from inside the theatre classroom, looking out.
These were all from the original school, and if I could go back, I'd get one or two, just to have a tiny piece of history.
This was a room just off of the place where the trophies were. Why's a kiddie pool there? Do the squatters like to take a dip?
I was gratified to see that the old theatre mural was still there. Down in that area, to the right, is where the squatter(s) lived, so we didn't go there. Although I'd like to get back and take the left, since I think that leads to the stairs to the second floor.
Since there were people living in that area, we turned around and went the other way. The next room appears to have been important in the original school.
The room, with bonus sewing machine.
All sorts of artsy-craftsy stuff on the floor. And a typewriter.
Lots of old pamphlets on the desk.
I don't know why the window was barred; none of the other ones were.
A mural from the school! Too keen!
And, opposite, another mural. I didn't find this one quite as exciting.
This is the view to the right as you exit that room; around the corner is the hallway where we came in.
There's the way in, waaaay in the distance.
To the right was this room, which was another dance classroom. The wall is covered with old backdrops.
There was a bunch of random junk there.
And to the right of the area pictured above was this little kitchen, not much the worse for wear. No food to snack on, though.
"Please don't put below 72 - it will freeze & drip!"
And that ends my Councill High School adventure. If I can, I'll try to get back in later and explore the second floor.
I was lucky to visit when I did- not long after, the doors and windows were covered in plywood to block entry.