Geer School, Salem/Superior Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan
Location: 42.34151, -83.56743, at 9981 Plymouth Rd, Plymouth, MI.
Geer School (Superior & Salem Fractional District No 4) was built in 1880. It replaced a log building that was built in 1829, and a second frame building nearby. The rectangular red brick schoolhouse on a fieldstone foundation is 28x40 feet, and lighted by tall round-top windows. It has a centered double-wide front door with a half-circle transom window above it. On both sides of the front door are very large round-top windows. Above the front door is the school identification sign which reads "FR. School Dist No 4, Superior & Salem, A.D. 1880". Above that, on the peak of the roof, is the school's bell tower, enclosed by louvers, making it difficult to determine whether there's a school bell inside. Each side of the schoolhouse has 3 of those very large round-top windows. Some beautiful brickwork details adorn this schoolhouse. The door and round-top windows all have slightly-projecting brickwork surrounding them. On each side is a projected column with a concrete medallion at the top, and then the brickwork returns as the arch above the door or window, with a keystone at the top. There is even-more-prominently projecting brickwork at the 4 corners of the building. Each looks like a solid column that helps hold the school up, though it's all just a design illusion, of course. There is also more-prominently projecting brickwork under the roofline, all the way around the building. This brickwork follows the direction of the roof eave, and has what's called "dental molding" along its bottom edge, in which bricks are placed alternatingly flat and projected outward, to look like teeth. Finally, as if this wasn't yet enough, each side window is separated from the others by another more-prominently projecting brick "column" like the corners of the building. But these columns lead to building-scale arches just under the roofline. The school was closed in 1982 and restored in the late 1980s through a community effort.
To my untrained eye, Geer School is practically identical to Dixboro School, which is just 5 miles west of here on Plymouth Road. So if there's something here you don't understand in my pictures and descriptions, read the attempt I've made on that other school's page; it might help you. Half way between the two, also on Plymouth Road, is the even more beautiful Frains Lake School. A 5-mile drive to see these 3 schools, among the most beautiful in the collection that I've surveyed, would be a real treat if you'd enjoy seeing these beautifully-restored brick schoolhouses.