School Buildings of Missouri


Due to increased suburbanization in Missouri, many inner-city schools have been closed due to dwindling enrollments. Between the state’s two largest urban districts alone – Kansas City and Saint Louis – there are currently over seventy empty school buildings. Although many of the Kansas City school buildings are designed by noted architects like Charles E. Smith, and many of the Saint Louis schools designed by the world-renowned William B. Ittner, many of these buildings are in neighborhoods struggling with the effects of long term disinvestment and the lack of available financing makes adaptive reuse projects challenging. Similarly our rural school buildings are endangered.  As more of our state’s population moves from rural areas to the new suburbs of our larger cities, they leave behind empty buildings in our smaller towns and rural districts have been consolidating to rein in the costs of property maintenance. Some communities feel that a vacant lot is better than a vacant building, and many school districts cannot afford the costs of upkeep. This makes demolition likely if reuse plans cannot be identified and encouraged. Some empty school buildings of Missouri have found new purposes, including municipal offices, condominiums and affordable housing, especially for senior citizens. It is hoped that this listing will call attention to these many endangered historic resources and encourage reuse and repurposing of many more of Missouri’s empty school buildings.

Milton Moore School
Kansas City, Jackson County

Something Elementary School
Boonville, Cooper County

Lyon School
St. Louis Independent City

Listed in 2012 and as watched properties in 2013 and 2014.

Leave a Reply