John Marshall High School

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City/Town: Oklahoma City, OK
Location Class: School
Year Built: 1950's
Year Abandoned: 2007
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: Michael Schwarz

Most people when they think of the old John Marshall High School, they think of violence, gang activity and overall just a relatively bad part of town. However, back in the school’s booming days John Marshall was well known and the absolute best high school around Oklahoma City. Many awards were given to many talented and prideful students. Sporting teams were undefeated, or the best in their class. Many pleasant and treasured memories stir in the minds of the early graduates. Lurking in the empty halls kids are laughing, learning, and cherishing their future ahead of them.

John Marshall opened in early 1950 to serve the need for a high school in the ever-growing suburbs in far north Oklahoma City. In comparison to other high schools built by the OKCPS at this time it was considered the best. It features 2 gyms, tennis courts, football fields, and an auditorium. It thrived well into the 1970′s until the surrounding area began to declined. Once a feeder for students from Nichols Hills, Quail Creek, Val Verde, and the Greens, it saw its enrollment fade as these students began flocking to the private schools that dot the north side of the city. Crime began to rise in the 80′s and Marshall gained a horrible reputation for gang activity and violence. As part of Maps For Kids, a campaign began by the citizens to improve the area schools, John Marshall was tapped for re-location to Portland and Lake Hefner Parkway. The citizens of Quail Creek, The Greens, The Meadows and Arbors, and Val Verde fought desperately to not have this bad reputation right on their front doorstep. But to no avail. They lost the fight and the new John Marshall opened in 2005. Splitting students between the new location and the old for a year, they finally closed the original John Marshall in 2006. The OKCPS attempted to open the school as “Centennial High School” as an alternative school for the closed Gateway Academy, but this did not pan out. After a semester those students were transferred to the new school. The rambling old high school shows its age with weeds coming through the tennis courts, boarded windows, and a sign barely visible charting the achievements of its better days.

From old post:

Early this year (2013) John Marshall will be forever gone. I don’t normally encourage this, but if you want to see this building before it’s gone now is the time! Go and see it before it’s demolished! See Fire pictures at the bottom.

John Marshall High School – Final Days!!! – Hosted by ’87 Graduate Sherry Lynn Green

  • Saturday, February 2, 2013
  • 1:00pm until 7:00pm

We are wanting to all come together at our old high school to celebrate its legendary times and say our final goodbye to our old high school. We will be doing it both days to make it more convenient for people to attend. Please bring cameras, and anything you can find that represents your days at JMHS!!!

Click to Join The Event!

John Marshall is now torn down…

Read More and see 2009 pics at http://www.abandonedok.com/john-marshall-high-school/

Historical Pictures

Now Pictures

I have taken so many pictures of this place from when it was still in good shape to when the whole place seemed to have fallen apart to vandals. 5619 Images of this building to be exact. So instead of uploading all of them, here are a few pictures from various visits.

Fire Update!

Officials think a fire that damaged four classrooms in the old John Marshall High School building was intentionally set. Arson investigators are looking into the cause of a Saturday fire at the empty school, Fire Battalion Chief Brian Stanaland said. The utilities to the building had been turned off. There was no damage estimate because the building is scheduled for demolition. Oklahoma City Public Schools is in the process of selling the old school, district spokeswoman Kathleen Kennedy said Monday. The old John Marshall High School was built in 1945. The property includes the 240,000-square-foot facility and 20 acres of land. The school board agreed in August to sell the building to Premier Assets Inc. for $400,000. The building will be torn down, Kennedy said. The sale is on hold until the city council considers whether to rezone the property as residential, Kennedy said. The issue is expected to come before the council soon, she said. Two previous offers to buy the property and old school building haven’t worked out.

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Rbourneokc
Guest
Rbourneokc

Latest update. The property was rezoned residential and has a really nice upscale townhomes community built on the site and it's named J. Marshall Square. https://jmarshallsquare.com/

Hailey
Guest
Hailey

Why do people set fire to abandoned schools , hospitals , Ect ?

Hailey w
Guest
Hailey w

I'm from Oklahoma City and I now go to Putnam city west , but my moms friends daughter went here for a year

typing online uk
Guest

I am trying to find out and hoping that weekend is good and the weather holds up so we can all get together to be with John Marshall High School.

Christinia Fullmer
Guest
Christinia Fullmer

Of course it would be another good thing to consider with some values and what has been asked to do so will matter a lot, so indeed a better chance to get started with some objective to go on. msc personal statement

pstravlo
Guest
pstravlo

I would have graduated in 1976, but dropped out in 74. Freak porch, Martin's pool hall; back then you didn't even have to show up for class and nothing ever happened. I skipped 35 of 45 days in Algebra and still passed (showed up for the quizzes and tests and made Bs.) It was a turbulent time; forced bussing, drugs everywhere, streaking, my parents divorce, racial and ethnic tensions, fights, etc. It was an education, just not what we would normally want for our kids. My father lived in Val Verde when JM moved and hated the idea. He moved… Read more »

Kimberly Gilleland
Guest
Kimberly Gilleland

I wish you had some pictures of the ROTC room. There was a mural in the room of fighter jets that I painted before I graduated but all of my original pictures have been lost. I graduated in 2002 and I have many fond memories of this school. There was a lot of stupidity and thugs but a lot of us were there to learn and I had wonderful teachers that taught me a lot. I met my husband here my freshman year in German class with Mrs. Tucker. Sad that the place I met my husband is being demolished.

Bill Whitman
Guest
Bill Whitman

Class of 84, wish I had more pics from then which were happier times. It was just sad to find out the school was abandoned. I had hoped to show my boys if we drove through, but there's now nothing and it would just be embarrassing.

Janis W.
Guest
Janis W.

I attended JMHS from 7th through 12th and am 1967 graduate. Really sad to see those recent photos – not what I remember, but have mostly great memories of John Marshall and I took pride in being a graduate. I wish that something could be done to make use of the building, but it seems nothing has worked out.

Sherry L Green
Guest

Hi everyone, I'm sorry that I haven't been on this site much. The best way also to follow me and JMHS stuff is to friend request me on Facebook. There will be more events being planned. Thanks!

Laurie
Guest

We have decided to open our POWERFUL and PRIVATE web traffic system to the public for a limited time! You can sign up for our UP SCALE network with a free trial as we get started with the public’s orders. Imagine how your bank account will look when your website gets the traffic it deserves. Visit us today: http://bag.sh/16M

T Turner
Guest
T Turner

Class of 88. Visited the school today…disappointing. Magnificent, substantial structure, really, better than I remember it…but like a war-zone inside. Tearing down this beast (or Bear) will be some feat. But ah the memories – the smelly bathrooms, broken fixtures, and sloppy cover-up paint jobs that I remember lose all meaning when I once again climb those staircases and feel their granite solidity underfoot one last time. Everyone who reads this, I think, will remember the doubt and wonder they had when climbing those stairs for the first time. What's left now – the floors, the walls – seem like… Read more »

Donna
Guest
Donna

I graduated from John Marshall High School in 1953. It was a fantastic place with wonderful teachers. How fortunate I was to attend there!

KayLynn
Guest
KayLynn

Thank you for sharing these pictures. These pictures brought back soooo many memories of being a BEAR ! In my minds eye I can remember those catwalks in the auditorium . I can smell the smoke from the freak porch and I can hear Ms. Dolly Turner yelling at us to get in place for the dance recital. Thank you for spending your time to bring back a piece of my teenage years. I will never forget being a BEAR !!!!

Donna Sadler Holt
Guest
Donna Sadler Holt

Class of 1965. I remember the first day I entered John Marshall as a Freshman. The school seemed so big. But, I found it warm & inviting inside. One of the things I remember most was the phone booth. The day President Kennedy was shot I used ti to call home. I had to borrow a dime from my friend to make the call.
It is really hard to see my old High School in that condition, but the pictures did bring
back good memories.

PynkPassion
Guest
PynkPassion

I'm a proud graduate of JMHS. '80 – '84. I went on to serve our country in the United States Air Force, receive an Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, MBA, attend the Wharton School and UPenn and become an Executive Leader for multi billion dollar enterprise. I mentor Women across the US in business and Leadership Development and I have spear-headed a mentor program for at risk 8th graders in the area I live and work. I am a proud product of JMHS… Bear Pride!!!

Shelley
Guest
Shelley

I was there in 71 and 72 – yes, I remember the freak porch! Also Martin Rich's pool hall… JM was a good school back then. I remember good teachers. Then integration came in and I went to NE High School twice a week on a bus. There were knifings at NW High School and several kids were killed around OKC. Integration needed to happen but I guess it was always going to be a bit difficult at first. I was sorry to hear JM moved. Thanks for the photos. They are sad but they bring back happy memories.

Joan
Guest
Joan

I also remember the freak porch! I can also remember stepping right inside school's doorway to share a toke when the weather was too cold outside. Can you imagine this now? LOL

Roxanne
Guest
Roxanne

These pictures brought back such good memories for me. I moved back to OKC about 4 years ago, and of course, one of my first stops was John Marshall. I graduated in 1984, ran track there all four years. I also remember the diversity of the students, how well we all got along. I believe it was Coach Harrington who donated the track to us. Before that we ran everyday on the dirt track. If it was ice and snow on the ground, only then did Coach Ellis let us work out inside the school. Looking at these pictures right… Read more »

Pat
Guest
Pat

Pat of 64, What a shame the school is left in such a shambles! So many great memories are with that year! I was in the ninth grade, in the choir, and even though we went to state, and did not win , we had a great time!! I don't know what the school was like when they closed it, but when I went to it, we had great teachers, and did not have to worry about guns, or drugs!! You could walk the halls safely!! Oh yeh, my first big crush! I had to move to Anadarko, but I… Read more »

JM 97
Guest
JM 97

I, too, am saddened by these images. I visited home last February and saw it for with my own eyes, and I was in shock at the condition our school was in then, and now the fire was the nail in the coffin. But what saddens me even more is that none of the GREAT things that happened at JM were mentioned at all! JM was known for track, bball AND football!!! Not to mention the number of graduates and college graduates produced. I could go on but I believe my point has been made. I am a 97 graduate,… Read more »

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