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School's out: Dusty remains of 110-year-old Alabama high school that is now daubed in KKK graffiti

  • Arlington High School, in Alabama, was built in 1908 and had eight classrooms with room for 360 students
  • It was the first high school in the city of Bessemer and was converted to an elementary before closing in 1986
  • Multiple attempts were made to repurpose and restore the building, but it was deemed unsafe in 2008
  • The school district accepted a bid to demolish the school and work began in 2014, but has not been finished


  • Arlington High School, in Bessemer, Alabama, was built in 1908 and designed to house 360 students in eight classrooms. The centerpiece of the school was this large auditorium


    The auditorium has a large horseshoe shaped upper level, rows of seating which used to have wrought iron frames on the lower level, and look on to a proscenium stage

    Now the grand auditorium is little more than a dust-covered wreck, with all of the ironwork pulled out, and the wooden seat covers left scattered across the floor


    The classrooms are also covered in decades of grime with smashed in windows and the ceilings falling in. This room would once have housed 45 students


    An old corridor at the school has now been daubed with racist graffiti celebrating the Klu Klux Klan, with two figures depicting klansmen dressed in robes

    More graffiti on the same wall mentions a Klan rally at Bessemer city hall, perhaps recalling a rally in 1963 when Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton vowed klansmen would give their lives 'to protect segregation'


    A certificate of registration from 1964, around two decades before the school closed its doors. A number of attempts to repurpose the building have been made since it shut, but none have been successful

    These images were captured by urban explorer who goes by the handle Abandoned Southeast. He said he passed the school years ago on his way to work before returning to look inside


    The school authority ruled the building unsound in 2008, and in 2013 began accepting bids to demolish it. Work began on tearing it down in 2014, but was never completed


    Most of the old building still remains intact in Bessemer, standing at the corner of Arlington and 19th Streets
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