An Apple A Day #13928

Matted, canvas, & super gloss prints available. Questions?

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The Story

This is all that is left of Mrs. Cuff’s elementary school classroom. Today it’s abandoned and covered in dust with rain splatters on the slate blackboard where the weather flew in the broken third-floor windows. The peeling paint has given up the ghost too. She must have been a vibrant and engaging teacher, judging from the still colorful graphics on the streaked blackboard and the stenciling around it. I like to think her young kids loved her as their teacher. That positive force of personality has now gone and been replaced by crumbling paint, gritty dust, and the Big Empty, but these clues of the past remain.

This classroom was in a three-story building originally built as a high school in 1917. Its last years of use in the 1980s were as an elementary school. Today, it remains semi-abandoned and partially re-purposed by private individuals as a community center. As a result, most sections of the building such as this partially abandoned classroom remain out of use. Some areas are very dilapidated and rough, far more than shown here. The school sits in a coal town in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania, with both the town and school fading away like the coal industry that made it happen in the first place.

Location: Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story ©Andrew Dierks

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