Kronk Community Center was closed for good in 2006, after thieves invaded one night and ripped out the copper water pipes. Within weeks, the city’s underfunded recreation department deemed repairs prohibitively expensive and closed the internationally revered building.
Kronk became famous for one reason: In its basement was one of the finest boxing gyms ever created. Producing several world champions, with Thomas Hearns being the best-known. The old palace sits exposed to the elements. Over ten years have passed – exterior doors have been removed and the interior walls are crumbling. Many believe that it should be on the National Register of Historic Places but there isn’t anything left to preserve and honor, just missing and boarded-up windows, and graffiti-covered brick. You never would know that kings were made here.
I found it difficult to locate any substantial history on this particular location. All I was able to find out was, the school was built in 1924 and abandoned in 1989. The church building is still being used, by another denomination.
During the 1960’s there were 55 Catholic High Schools within the Detroit city limits. Today there are only 3! At the same time, there were also over 100 Catholic Elementary Schools within the city limits. Today there are only 7!
I had this school on my enormous list of locations to explore during this trip, but when reviewing with a friend/local I was sadly told that this school was either inaccessible or being renovated. So we didn’t even bother checking it out. Luckily after speaking with another friend/local we were told quite the opposite! It was accessible and awesome. So we immediately headed over to investigate 🙂
We drove by and noticed an open window, where the wood panel had been ripped off. It sucked because it was directly facing a busy street, but we figured if we harnessed our inner ninja skills, we could hop up and in pretty quickly, without being seen by too many cars passing by. We parked our car, grabbed our camera backpacks, hustled into the window and were immediately in awwwwww! This school was amaaaaaaazing! It is in such a beautiful state of decay. The photographs just don’t do it justice. You can tell there must have been minor fire damage at one point (inside, not outside to the structure), as there were any charred walls and doorways. Oh and the gymnasium was breathtaking!
When we were ready to head out, we started looking for the window we had came through…only to find out there was a door, wide open, right around the corner, lol – DOH!!! So instead of hopping through the window, we simply strolled out.