The Roosevelt Warehouse better known as the Detroit Public Schools Book Depository is located on 2231 Dalzelle Street, Detroit, Michigan.
It is said the the forgotten Public Schools Book Depot was designed by architect Albert Kahn. It is assumed that it was built sometime during or after the 1910’s, though a date I cannot find. The Roosevelt Warehouse was initially used as a post office, but when the post office decided to relocate the Michigan Public Schools bought the building to hold there excess and future school supplies. In 1987 the Roosevelt Warehouse caught on fire, the fire and the water from putting out the fire damaged much of surplus supplies inside as well as some of the building. The Detroit Public schools then abandoned the building leaving everything from equipment for sports to crayons inside. Records from schools throughout Detroit dating back to the early 1900’s were left there and the charred remains of many books were left behind. When investigated afterwards it is said that boxes of shiny new sealed textbooks and other school items were undamaged and simply just left behind. The building has been heavily vandalized in present day and has had excessive removal of interior metals by scrappers.
In 2001 permits were taken out for demolition of this building and the neighboring Michigan Train Station.
In 2009 a frozen and assumed homeless man was found at the bottom of a flooded elevator shaft. The mans name was Johnnie Redding, his face was badly decomposed, and at the autopsy it is said he died of a cocaine overdose and that he was frozen for over a month. He is missed by his family and it allegedly took 2 days before the fire department would come and remove his body from his ice tomb. You can find pictures of his feet sticking out of the frozen ice online, I find the pictures macabre and rude and will not post them here. Supposedly the urban explorers who found the body ignored it and continued to play their game of ice hockey on the basement floor. The homeless people who gather in the warehouse also ignored the mans frozen body. It wasn’t until a reporter found out that the law was called, they also ignored the situation. It is truly a sad fate.
As of 2013 it has not yet been demolished. Security has been increased and the billionaire owner, Manuel ‘Matty’ Moroun, has allegedly boarded up access to the place. Though this does not stop people from gaining access to this large, desolate, and creepy building.
You can find the Michigan Book Depository with these coordinates. 42.328244,-83.0756.
All images used under Creative Commons License Attribution Non Commercial 2.0 Generic. All images by Thomas Hawk / Flickr.