Union School, Batavia Township, Branch County, Michigan

Location: withheld since this is now a private residence.

Union School (Union District No 8) was built in 1883 and is now a private residence. It is in rather poor shape, which is quite a shame since this is a nicely detailed red-brick schoolhouse in the Italianate style. I, of course, can't determine whether it is on a downward slide or whether it has been recently rescued and being restored to good condition, but I hope for the latter and will assume this to be the case. The building has a metal roof, which argues that the worst of potential damage will be averted. However woodwork throughout the building (roof eaves, the entire roof structure above the front door) has extensive peeling paint and is badly in need of simple restoration; perhaps this wood is intended to be replaced rather than restored. One front window is boarded over but bricks near that window have been recently replaced, so I hope this is a restoration in progress. The building has the potential to be quite beautiful. There are four large windows on each side (some are unfortunately bricked-over), each with projecting brickwork 2-row arches above them. Projecting brickwork is also prominent in "columns" that divide the windows and doors from each other and beautiful stepped projecting brickwork designs under the eaves of the front face. Sets of double corbels decorate the front eaves. Above the front door with a sagging canopy with peeling paint is the original schoolhouse identification sign, proclaiming this as "Union School District No 8, 1883", and above that, unfortunately, no bell tower survives.

    
Union School (Union School District No 8) was built in 1883, and is now a private residence.
    
Union School (Union School District No 8) was built in 1883, and is now a private residence.
    
Union School (Union School District No 8) was built in 1883, and is now a private residence.

Here are a couple past photos of Union School:

    
Union Schoolhouse Information from the Bess Britton One-Room Schoolhouse Collection at the Webster Memorial Library in Decatur, Michigan
    
Union Schoolhouse Information from the Bess Britton One-Room Schoolhouse Collection at the Webster Memorial Library in Decatur, Michigan

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