|City/Town: • Birmingham|
|Location Class: • Educational|
|Built: • N/A | Abandoned: • 1997|
|Status: • Abandoned|
|Photojournalist: • David Bulit|
The F. D McArthur School was established in 1903 as Seventeenth Avenue School in a small two-room wooden frame building on the northwest corner of 17th Avenue North and 25th Street. Enrollment peaked at 75 and in 1910, a two-story brick structure replaced the older wooden building. An addition containing eight rooms was completed in 1941, designed by Warren, Knight & Davis, to replace the classrooms lost when Barker Elementary School was destroyed by fire. The school was expanded extensively in 1948 with the construction of a new school building while utilizing the former structure. The new building contained nine classrooms, a lunchroom, a special classroom, a small gymnasium, the principal’s office, four restrooms, and a boiler room. The school was renamed F. D. McArthur School for attorney and Birmingham Board of Education President Frank Duncan McArthur. The school’s colors were green and white, and its mascot was the Hornets.
The school was closed in May 1997. An agreement to sell the property in 2003 to a church fell through. On June 13, 2004, the Birmingham City Council agreed to buy the McArthur School, Baker Elementary School, and Fairview Elementary Schools from the school system for a total of $654,000. The purpose of the transaction was to bank land for future residential use. In 2008 Mayor Larry Langford announced that Shinsegae USA, Inc., a South Korean-owned firm that was interested in the nearby Carraway Hospital, would also purchase the school building and invest $3 million to renovate it as a nursing school for Korean students who want to work in the United States. The plan never materialized.