This building’s claim to fame has not saved it from being left to rot.
Gary, Indiana’s Garnett Elementary School may now be in a state of disrepair, but it is believed to have once hosted a historic event: Former student Michael Jackson’s first-ever public performance.
The now-abandoned school where the late pop legend was once a pupil is said to have been the site of his debut on the stage. It is located a short walk from where Jackson and his siblings grew up, The Mirror reported.
In 1963, a then-six-year-old Jackson reportedly sang “The Sound of Music” song “Climb Every Mountain” on the school’s now-decrepit stage.
The school, which shuttered at some point in the 2000s, has since fallen into a sorry state. When creators with the YouTube channel RnK All Day took a peek inside in 2020, the lack of recent use or care was beyond evident.
“This school is really unique because it was the school of the Jackson 5,” said videographer Robb Atch, 40, at the beginning of a 23-minute clip of his exploration inside the structure, which was easily accessed via an open door.
“Michael Jackson roamed the halls of this school. It is completely ripped apart. I’ve never seen a school more vandalized, or it’s just in line with the most vandalized school I’ve ever seen.”
Although in shambles, the school still has “some books left behind, there’s still some desks” among other remnants of its past.
“Once inside we found everything you would find in any school, just left behind to be damaged, stolen or rot,” he added. “It felt OK while inside, not scary or creepy. It could be because I was with a few other people or that I have been in so many schools similar to this across America, but it was just a really good exploration.”