This large school was constructed in 1939, just outside of the city of Newark. Originally known as Bloomfield Junior High School, it served the children of Bloomfield by offering 6th through 8th grade classes.
The building was designed in a classic Art Deco fashion. It had a large cafeteria on the top floor, a cavernous auditorium and a sprawling gymnasium. It operated for nearly 50 years until 1987 when Bloomfield Middle School was built.
The 145,000 square foot school school sat boarded up on Franklin Avenue for nearly three decades. Several proposals to redevelop the building came forward, but none of them worked out. Then, in 2013, an article was published about plans to renovate the building into condominiums.
This school was one of the first places I ever went to as a curious teenager. I remember thinking how awesome it was, despite being almost entirely devoid of relics from its past. There were no lockers in the hallways, no desks in the classrooms, and no tables in the lunchroom. The halls were empty, the chalkboards stripped.
The auditorium of the school was largely intact, and very photogenic. It was a nice break from the monotony of stripped hallways.
The building became a hangout for taggers, vandals, and local kids, who used the building as everything from a place to smoke weed and hang out to skate and BMX.
The school quickly became one of the most well known abandoned buildings in the area, drawing tons of of photographers from New Jersey and the surrounding states.
The future of the building is uncertain, as it sits abandoned behind a fence line currently being used to house construction vehicles. The new owners have sealed up the building, and do not take kindly to trespassers.
I sincerely hope the building can see use as a school once again. It is an amazing structure, and to tear it down would certainly be a loss to the town of Bloomfield . All we can do is hope the company who owns it now doesn't continue to neglect it.