On Thursday, December 3, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) held an open house at the Franklin School for those interested in responding to its Request for Proposals. Although the RFP clearly is geared to submissions from private developers, those who attended included charter school representatives, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, and historic preservationists, among others. I attended as a support of the Coalition for Franklin School, which supports using the building as a model school for the 21st century. There was no guided tour or handouts. Those who attended wandered the building on this rare opportunity.
As you will see by the photographs, the building is frozen in time from the six-year period it served as a homeless shelter. A calendar hangs on the wall of what was an office marking September 2008, when the city closed the build, and a flier tells occupants to register to vote because "this is the most important election of our life time." Looking more closely, one can find remnants of its history as a school building. Outlines of chalkboards and room numbers. I am told that above the false ceiling in the great hall, there is is a portion of a mural that once extended down to the floor.