Kinsey John L School, RIP 2013


The building itself is beautiful. The school was built in 1915.  The brickwork and stonework are intricate.



I could not find the name on the school. Land-locked by blighted housing, Kinsey sits dejected. Many front doors facing the school sport “Beware of Dog!” warnings posted in florescent text.



The giving tree.  The stump of an old oak juts out from its concrete cut-out bed.  Hair barrettes, broken glass, a black plastic bag from a liquor store filled with dog poop, and snack wrappers are caught in its roots.


A School bus waits to take children home.  Supposedly, the school district will require even more busses in order to transport children to more distance schools as their local neighborhood school closes.  Parents raised concerns over this at the SRC public meetings, saying that children get out of school around 3 pm and must make their way home through dangerous neighborhoods.  This perilous journey is going to become more common as the district indicated that they will only provide bus option for those over 1.5 miles away. 


Bronze plaques embedded at the entrance of Kinsey pay tribute to police officers that died in the line of duty.


A hair brush lies at the base of a fenced off colorful mural depicted spring with trees in bloom.  The brush most likely would have been retrieved if it weren’t for the five-foot rusted fence that cordons off the sidewalk.  Is the fence protecting the beautiful vision from being vandalized?  Do we need a metal fence between us and a vision of re-birth and spring?



One thought on “Kinsey John L School, RIP 2013

  1. I didn’t know Kinsey School had closed. I entered Kinsey in the 1950’s. It was a beautiful school. Of course it seemed huge to me at the time and it stood almost majestic. The surrounding homes were well kept with little bursts of flowers in the small front yards or in small pots, set out on the porches. I remember the little local sandwich shop (Tobys) that was located across the street from Kinsey. Me and my siblings would have lunch there on certainThursdays.
    By the time i entered 2nd grade, we had a black student in our class. I didn’t know what to think but it was different. By the time I entered 6th grade one third of my class was black. Teacher’s became upset as these ‘new kids on the block’ were always getting into trouble and the teachers would have to stop reading or explaning, to deal with ‘the bad kids’, an expression termed by the other kids themselves.
    By the time I was to enter Jr High (Wagner), a student was sexually assulted by a black man in an empty classroom after school. My family immediately relocated to a small town in New Jersey.
    Over the years, we would make an anual pilgrimage back to our old neighborhood until it was no longer safe to drive down the street. So sad.
    Our ‘row-home’ street was typical of most neighborhoods, with a mix of nationalities. With the Immaculate Conception Church being only two blocks away, many of our neighbors were Irish Catholic. We all got along and everyone knew who’s kids were who. In this neighborhood, the ways the homes were built, we would share a small patio out the kitchen door, with the neighbor next to us. Because it was off the back of the house, it was on the second floor off the ground. If you wanted to speak to your neighbor, you would just tap on their kitchen door, rather then going around to the front of the house and then up onto their porch. It was a small area but you could hang a bit of clean laundry out to dry. I remember my playpen being out there on warm sunny days.
    Life was good back then but that was destined to end as neighborhoods changed for the worse.
    Rest in Peace, John L Kinsey School.

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