The Clay School

The Clay Office and Conference Center is a renovated office complex formerly kown as the Clay School. It is located at 453 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd in Detroit, Michigan. It is the oldest school building in the city of Detroit. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1982.


In 1873, a frame schoolhouse was built at this location to serve the children living in the area. In 1888, the frame school was replaced by the current structure. Until 1923 the building served as an elementary school. For the next eight years, it was a center for boys with discipline problems, and it was later used as headquarters for vocational study and as administrative offices for the Practical Nursing Center. In 1981, the building was sold to a developer, who converted the building into office space.


The building is two stories tall, with a high basement marked at the top line of exterior stones. The structure has a hipped roof and the front entry is arched and decorated in stone. The masonry tower at the top was, until c. 1990, topped with a wooden cupola.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference and added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via