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The Last Days of Elmhurst High School

Elmurst High School was a public high school on the corner of Ardmore Avenue and Sandpoint Road in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The school, which opened in 1929, sat on the western end of the neighborhood where I grew up. I graduated from Elmhurst in 1994, and my parents were also Elmhurst grads (Dad in 1968, Mom in 1969).

It was in the photography classes taught by Elmhurst's art teacher, Don Goss, that I learned that I could create art with my camera. Thanks to Mr. Goss's encouragement, I went on to earn a Fine Arts degree with Photography major. I am one of many of Mr. Goss's former students who went on to become professional artists, photographers, and designers.

In 2010, Fort Wayne Community Schools closed Elmhurst High. In 2012, they auctioned off all of the furniture and equipment in the school, ensuring that it could never be reopened. After that, the building sat abandoned without heat or ventilation. The school's condition deteriorated quickly as it sat empty, and in 2017 FWCS sold the property to Hanson Aggregates. Hanson owns the enormous limestone quarry located behind the school.

After Hanson bought Elmhurst, they announced that it was going to be demolished. Thanks to the efforts of Elmhurst grad Josh Wolfe (Class of 96), Hanson opened the school for Elmhurst alumni and teachers to tour the building for two days in November, 2017. I went both days and made some photographs of the inside of my old school.

These photographs are those that I made during that farewell tour, as well as other photographs that I made of the school in the seven years after it closed.




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