Kindergartens

Kindergartens are a distinctive classroom type found in almost every one of Detroit's historic elementary schools. While each kindergarten space in each school is unique, kindergartens typically include the following elements: a large bay window, a fireplace, and an attached cloakroom and toilets.

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1+ Rooms

One of the defining characteristics of Detroit’s historic kindergartens is a main room with an attached auxiliary space. The extra space typically includes a boys and girls toilet, coat room, and storage closet.

 
2+ Rooms

The most common kindergarten arrangement observed in the schools in this study is two main rooms connected by an auxiliary space. Like the 1+ arrangement, the extra space includes toilets, coat room, and storage closet.

Large Bay Window

The most noticeable feature of most historic kindergartens is the bay window. Shapes and sizes range from large half-circles that are as wide as the room itself, to shallow bump-outs. The bay typically includes a wooden bench beneath the windows, with radiators in the back, and sometimes toy storage under the seat.

Multiple Windows

Kindergartens built before 1920 and after 1950 typically do not have round bay windows. Instead, these schools often have windows on at least two walls, ensuring ample sunlight.

Operable Wall

Kindergartens built before 1920 are often large rectangular rooms with an operable wall that allows the space to be opened to the main hallway.