WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

Looking to get students out of an old 1859 schoolhouse, Manistee's old Parkdale School eventually turned into the Kennedy School. According to Ruin Road, construction of this new elementary school began in 1956 - and after two years, it was open for business in 1958. With more and more students enrolling, more room was needed; additions were built, making a total of sixteen classrooms and a gym.

In 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated, Parkdale School was re-named in his honor, and became Kennedy School. It was again re-named in 1981, after classes were changed to just include grades fourth, fifth, and sixth. This time the school was called North Elementary…..and later, again back to Kennedy Elementary.

The Kennedy playground may not seem like much now, but to a kid back in the 50s and 60s, it was like Disney’s Fantasyland. Being a small kid, the playground looked so big…almost endless. There was something there for any kid’s taste: basketball, football field, merry-go-round, slide, swing sets, and tire rings.

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It was also a time when schools weren’t afraid of being sued by parents if their kids were hurt on the playground at recess. Case in point: in winter, the maintenance department made big snow hills for the kids to slide down and play stuff like ‘king of the hill’ where one kid would stand on top - whoever knocked him/her off first, was the next ‘king of the hill’.

Unfortunately, over the years the school began falling apart, and there just wasn’t enough funds in the budget for upkeep. With no repairs forthcoming, the school degraded even further, and student enrollment kept dropping off.

The school shut down for good in 2011.
Nowadays there is a completely new Kennedy Elementary School.
As always, get permission before entering to protect yourself from prosecution.

Now go inside and take a look.

Abandoned Kennedy/Northern Elementary School, Manistee

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