Tuesday a very sad event began taking place here in my city. It was the demolition of my elementary and high school building, the building that from 1974-2004 housed Dayton Christian Schools. I attended kindergarten through 4th grade here, then shuffled over to a different building for middle school (where I met Bobby), and then back to this glorious building for high school.
I won’t use their pictures, but if you have just a minute I hope you’ll click here to see this gallery from the Dayton Daily News of some beautiful pictures of the building as I remember it.
The building was first opened in 1927 as the Julienne Catholic Girls High School. From 1927-1973 high school girls got a Catholic education there. The Sisters who ran the school lived in the convent that was attached to the high school building. In 1974, Julienne merged with the boys’ Catholic high school, Chaminade, and Dayton Christian found a home in the “Julienne building”. The Catholic church de-consecrated it for us Protestants but it was still sacred to most of us who walked it’s halls thereafter.
The convent where the nuns lived was converted into the elementary school. So, our bathrooms had tubs in them which was a little weird but for the most part it was like any elementary – just much more beautiful. The chapel (there is a picture on that gallery I linked to, I hope you’ll look at it) in the elementary was the nuns’ chapel, and it was gorgeous. Absolutely breathtaking, and I have SUCH special memories of that room. We had chapel in there once a week, and it was where I learned to worship as a child. I learned it at church, too, of course, but also at school. We had such fun chapel services conducted by people who wanted to help kids learn about God in a fun way. So, that room is very special to me, and it’s beauty still speaks to me, even though it’s gone.
I can’t count the number of times I walked up and down this hallway…isn’t it beautiful? The building won all kinds of awards when it was designed, and was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, although that did not save it from demolition. It was just a beautiful, beautiful place. It not only had the arched windows you see here but plenty of stained glass, a lovely courtyard, and pretty marble-ish floors.
It was a gorgeous place to go to school.
But it outlived it’s usefulness, and now it’s gone.
In 2004, after Dayton Christian moved out of the building, which was basically too expensive to maintain because of it’s age, Dayton Public Schools bought it. They used it for a couple of years to house Stivers School for the Arts, a 7-12 grade school whose own old beautiful building WAS being saved from demolition and was going through huge renovations. After Stivers was done, it sat empty, and Dayton Public decided to demo it. The neighborhood association and Julienne alumni fought hard to save it, but to no avail. It’s very sad.
But it’s not why I’m upset. Because I’ll always have my memories.
What upsets me is that as I was looking through the pictures of my old school on the Dayton Daily News website, I also read every single article pertaining to the demolition that they had on their front page, like this one and the captions of the gallery linked to above, and all these articles called the building “the Julienne building” and mentioned that it was “most recently home to Stivers School for the Arts”.
Not one mention was made of the fact that from 1974-2004, Dayton Christian Schools owned and used that building. THIRTY YEARS, as if they never happened. Thousands of graduates, forgotten. It’s despicable. Despicable, despicable, despicable.
It seems to me that Dayton Daily only prints news about Dayton Christian if it is negative. And since for the thirty years DC was in that building, it was a positive thing for the building and the neighborhood, there was of course, no mention of it even though it was clearly relevant to the background of this story.
Let me tell you something, Dayton Daily News. That building was important to ME. And not because it was beautiful and historic, but because I went to school there – Dayton Christian School. For THIRTY YEARS that was the Dayton Christian building. And you act like it NEVER HAPPENED. That’s some crack journalism there. Really. Way. To. Go.
When you fail to mention DC, you make a glaring omission in the history of the building in question. Stivers only occupied the building for two years and yet they always make the cut. Why gloss over thirty years of top-notch education that was done there? It doesn’t make any sense, and actually it’s completely and totally FREAKING RIDICULOUS.
Tuesday when I griped on my Facebook status about the Dayton Daily News’ gross error in their coverage, one of my friends commented, “useless newspaper.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. And I mean that in the most Christian way possible.
I was weepy after looking at your photo galleries the other night, Dayton Daily, but now I’m just pissed. (Yes, Christians get pissed. Sometimes even righteously.) You took thirty years of good and made it into nothing. You really pulled one over on us Christ-ers, great job. Did you think we wouldn’t notice?
I am thoroughly disgusted.
You can gloss over our memories but you can’t make them go away.
What do you think, DC Alumni? I hope you’ll share a special memory of OUR building in the comments. And maybe tell DDN where to stick it. In the most Christian way possible.
I ganked those photos from Flickr. Click on the images for the credit. Please don’t sue me random guy from Flickr, I’m totes broke.