Pershing Elementary School opened in the original portion of the existing building in 1918. There have been additions and remodels over the years, the latest of which was the extension on the west side in 1968 for the cafeteria and administrative offices. The school was closed the first time in 1979 but was later used to house various alternative education programs. Tulsa Public Schools declared the site surplus and has struggled to find uses for about 15 of its shuttered school buildings since 2011. Pershing was one of a half-dozen facilities that attracted little interest when offered for public bids.
In January 2013 the school board contracted with a broker to market Pershing School. When it went on the market, a resident of the neighborhood with experience developing multifamily housing and three Downtown Tulsa business leaders interested in neighborhood development and preserving significant architectural landmarks stepped forward to buy the site.
Their intent is to revitalize the historic building and turn the classrooms into moderately priced apartments and/or live-work studios. The existing gymnasium will become a common space for small events. The existing kitchen will become a community or catering kitchen available to serve the needs of small caterers and could easily be used to operate community culinary classes.
The architecture will be retained as much as possible in its original state. The bulk of the work will be to convert classrooms to apartments that will mostly remain open to allow maximum flexibility in arranging living spaces with studio work spaces. The existing loading dock will be preserved and used to service the kitchen. The existing parking lot will be enhanced with landscaping and will include outdoor common patio spaces.