Redford Township District No.5 School, photo submitted 1997
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Redford Township District No. 5 School
18499Beech Daly Road, Redford - Wayne County
Other Names Beech Road School
Redford Union Schools Board of Education
Property Type schoolhouse
Historic Use EDUCATION/school
Current Use EDUCATION/education-related
Style Colonial Revival
Architect/Builder State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Narrative Description The Redford Township District No. 5 School is a broad-fronted one-story hip-roof building. Constructed in 1916-1921, the school was built according to a stock plan prepared for the state and featured in the 1915-16 Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. As recommended in the plan, the school faces east. The red brick school has masonry load-bearing walls with a concrete foundation and a raised basement. The hipped roof is topped by a Georgian Revival belfry having, in each face, an arched opening flanked by paired square-plan piers. The building's front is symmetrical with a projecting pedimented main entrance vestibule flanked on either side by a bank of three six-over-one double-hung windows. The north and south facades each originally had a single window; however, they have been boarded over. The west facade has a central chimney and banks of five four-over-four double-hung windows. The basement windows have all been boarded over. The building's ornamentation is limited to a beltcourse created by a single soldier course of bricks separating the basement and main story and to vertical brick "piers" in the front and side walls built of single stretcher bricks laid atop one another. All of the brickwork is laid flush. The interior of the school is comprised of two classrooms on the main floor and a two-room basement.
Statement of Significance The Redford District No. 5 School's importance is that it is a rare, intact example of early twentieth-century rural schools that were built according to standard plans provided by the state superintendent of public instruction. The third schoolhouse on the present site, commonly known as the Beech Road School, was built in 1916-1921. The annual reports of the school districts of Redford Township to the state Department of Education indicate that from 1917 to 1920 the number of pupils attending the district no. 5 school increased from forty-seven to seventy-six. This enrollment growth was directly related to the suburbanization of Redford Township. Within a few years much of the once rural township was annexed by the city of Detroit. The school's burgeoning enrollment probably was the reason for constructing a new school building. Six Redford school districts, including district no. 5, consolidated into Union School District No. 1 in 1923. The Beech Road School, with a seven-classroom annex constructed in the later 1950s behind the older building, operated as an elementary school until 1961, when the complex became the board of education headquarters. The 1920-21 building housed a conference center and offices until 1982. It currently houses the district's instructional materials center.
Marker Name Redford Township District No. 5 School
Marker Text REDFORD TOWNSHIP DISTRICT NO. 5 SCHOOL Three Redford Township District No. 5 Schools have stood on this property. A log structure served students from around 1842 until the 1870s when a wooden-frame school was constructed. The present structure, built sometime between 1916 and 1921, was erected according to stock plans provided free by the state superintendent of public instruction, who noted: "The modern rural building is planned to observe both hygienic needs and the conveniences of schoolroom administration." Renamed Redford Union District No. 1 in 1923, and known popularly as the Beech Road School, this is a rare surviving example of a school that exhibits every detail of the state superintendent's design, including the belfry and the simple decorative brickwork.
Period of Significance 1916-1921
Significant Date(s) 1920-21
Registry Type(s) 07/12/1994 Marker erected
03/28/1997 National Register listed
03/17/1994 State Register listed
Site ID# P3215