Originally built as the Lowell School in 1910, this date was engraved above the west entrance. It quickly grew and the school was moved in 1933. Shortly after, the African American community added onto the structure and made the building Douglass High School’s new home.
After Douglass moved out in the 1950’s, a few other school came through until it’s last, a fifth year center, Page Woodson took over the building. Fifth-year centers were experimented with in Oklahoma City and most failed due to dispersion of population and desegregation.
There is a lot of history in this building and to see it abandoned since the early 90’s was a shame. Michael Schwarz, a photojournalist and member of AAF, photographed the slow renovation of the 3 year process and worked with the Oklahoma Historical Society, Alumni and Developers to produce a 12 minute Micro-documentary to showcase that renovation is possible ever after years of wear, tear, break-ins, leaks, fire, damage and graffiti. With short stories like this that can show why these places are important and how our soul, culture and history needs to be saved. While most are quick to tear things down because it’s cheaper, we often forget the importance of our heritage.
After completion, the film is now show in the restored Auditorium before shows and used as a marketing tool for the Apartments.