Fairhill was the first school I visited that was not in a majority African American community, but in a Latino community.
Painted over simple locks on the front doors. As with many schools, you have to be buzzed in through a security system. Schools are not open, inviting, neighborhood institutions like they were when I was a kid just 20 years ago.
Leif cavorts with the kids at recess under a blooming tree.
A vibrant mural wraps around the school, which has a fence on the first floor roof with an overhang to prevent breaking and entering.
Kids at play on the large lot- no gardens or play structures here.
Caddy corner to Fairhill lay the remnants of Northeast High School one of the oldest schools in Philadelphia, opened in 1903. The High School was moved, and a new High School, the Edison High School was opened in its place in 1957. The school was relocated in 2002, leaving the building abandoned until a fire destroyed it in 2011- making for some weird pictures of smoke pouring out through solid stone masonry.
Signs for the ‘no drug zone’ in front of the Northeast High School… did the signs work?
Is Edison High a harbinger of things to come for Fairhill?
Ancillary education programs in ornate and abandoned buildings line the streets near Fairhill- like this ‘Asocicion de Musicos Latino Americanos.’ That their sign has been removed after many years of advertising is perhaps a broader message of disinvestment.