Located in Bessemer, AL
Photo © 2007 Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
Arlington School History
Opened in 1908, the Arlington School was the city of Bessemer's first high school. Located at Arlington Avenue and 19th Street, the brick and limestone building was designed by architect William Benns in Classical Revival-style. Eight 700 square foot classrooms could hold 360 students inside lofty spaces with plenty of natural daylight and 13 foot high ceilings. Offices for the Bessemer Board of Education were located near the main entrance, and a notable features included a 624 seat auditorium with a wrap-around horseshoe mezzanine, a below-ground gymnasium, and maple flooring throughout the building.
The school was last used as an elementary school before it closed in 1986, and was listed as one of Alabama Historical Commission's Places in Peril as it gradually deteriorated and became vandalized. Several re-use plans were entertained, but all had fell through by the time the Bessemer School Board deemed the property as surplus in 2008; an inspection that year deemed the building unsafe, and by 2012 the board began asking for bids to demolish the structure. Contractor Ezra Hopson won salvage rights in 2013, and the building was razed a year later.