The Craven School is an abandoned elementary school a few blocks from our house. Well, it's not technically abandoned—the school board owns it and maintains the lawn, but otherwise is hands-off. The first time we walked past the property, we knew something was off. If you don't look directly at the building, you get the impression of a normal elementary school simply closed for the day. Upon closer inspection, you notice stuff like the outdoor rec area looks weird. The grass is mown, but there are no impressions or paths going from the school to the lawn, and weeds have grown in crevices on the basketball court. The building is in a V shape, with a hidden courtyard in back. This is where it gets interesting. The first time we walked around the building and saw this courtyard, I got a Cabrini-Green inspired chill. There's an eerie dead calm, yet evidence of lots of nefarious activity.
[side note: Cabrini-Green was an enormous, and notorious, housing project in Chicago. It once housed more people than the combined populations of the towns Jeff and I grew up in. I hear it's mostly demolished now, but when we were living in Chicago in the '90s, it was still occupied. If you've seen the horror flick Candyman (1992), then you've seen Cabrini-Green—parts of the movie were filmed on location there.]
More photos to follow (including interiors!) in Part 2, next post . . .
The Craven School, Part 2 posted by Rachel