Sixth Avenue School

City/Town: Pine Bluff
Location Class: School
Year Built: 1946
Year Abandoned: 2011
Status: Demolished
Photographer: Michael Schwarz

Pine Bluff’s first public school was on the same site in the 1800’s. Many Pine Bluff locals think that Sixth Avenue was the original building, however it was not. The first building was very big, ornate and wooden. Sadly in the early 1900’s the building burned down and was replaced with Sixth Avenue school in 1946.

As the decades went by it and the generations passed through it, the entire community around the school and even the world itself completely changed, transforming again and again until it hardly resembled what the school had originally known at all and yet through it all the school remained, ever faithful to its charge and ever vigilant to its duties.  Technology changed and completely transformed how the school went about its work, yet it’s commitment to that work remained steadfast and unwavering.  The parents of students returned to the same school that they had attended to drop the children off so that they too might learn.  Grandparents enjoyed sharing enjoyable stories and cherished memories of when they walked the same hallways and corridors as their children.

But nothing lasts forever and even the most cherished and beloved institutions eventually reach the end of their usefulness.  And as powerful and as driving a force as sentiment and memory fan be, sometimes there simply comes a point to where the cold hard economic truths of a situation can no longer be avoided or disregarded.  Eventually new schools must be built to replace the old ones and the mechanism and the means to maintain both simply aren’t there, so difficult decisions must be made.  The day comes when the students leaving the school building are the last ones that will ever leave it.  The time passes when the teachers close out and shut down their rooms at the end of the school year with the knowledge that those rooms will never be reopened.  Playgrounds and school yards stand empty after generations of play and laughter.  The last class of students through the school and the final set of teachers to work within it leave their mark upon the now empty shell of the old school building.  Books and bulletin boards, desks and lockers, graded papers and drawings remain behind for a while, providing a temporary testimony to the type of facility that the structure once house.  and then that too becomes nothing more than a memory as the demolition crew moves in with the goal of freeing up the land for further redevelopment as the community itself prepares to move onward into an ever changing future.  Across town a new school building is constructed, it’s doors open for the first time, it’s initial set of teachers prepare their rooms, the very first round of students happily and excitedly March into its halls, and the entire process starts over anew as the cherished memory of the old school continues to live on and abide in the hearts of all those children that attended it.

*/The old school is now completely demolished. If you have any memories or stories about this location please share them in the comments.\*


  1. I went to 6th Avenue in 1973 when the school had a head start program. It's funny how I completely forgot that I attended 6th Avenue. I got the building mixed up with Lakeside Elementary, another old school that I went to after 6th Avenue. All I could recall in my childhood memory was that both schools were surrounded by huge old houses..some which don't even exist anymore, (especially around Lakeside Elem). About 6 years ago I went back to Pine Bluff to visit relatives. I drove down 6th Avenue only to find my old school gone. But the church that stood by it & a couple of other structures around it are still there.

  2. Thanks for the pics and history. So sad to loss another historical landmark in Pine Bluff. My Dad attended grade school here in the 30's.

  3. Shanda C. Lange on

    You have narrated the history about this school very nice. Since I don’t know so many points which you have mentioned in the article. Really appreciated essay rush work you have done. Keep up the good work like it. As you are doing really good work through your web page.

  4. Carlis Shelby on

    It was a wonderful school for that area of town. I enjoyed every moment that I attended it. I entered Sixth Ave. in the fall of 1962 and had 6 fabulous years there. From Ms McClain to Reynolds, Woods, Bridges, Young, and Williams I felt at home and they were the reasons I decided to teach. I couldnt leave out Mrs. Hazel Watkins, the principal. I will never forget those years, especially my 6th grade year as a safety patrol officer on 5th and Beech. We got to school early and left late every day….loved it and Iam so very saddened to have to see it go. I pass it everyday on the way home from PBHS.

  5. Thanks for the pics and history. So sad to loss another historical landmark in Pine Bluff. My Dad attended grade school here in the 30's.

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