I must have passed the building more than 100 times. The old elementary school annex sits in the corner of a block shared with park playground, a school playground, a school and a lot of greenspace.

I’ve chased my kids past it on the way to the slides since my son (now 8) was 2, jogged past it and even parked my car in its lot.

But it wasn’t until Saturday that I took a closer look. There has been a lot of construction on the block. They tore down the old elementary school and leveled one of the playgrounds to make room for a new school and a new playground.

On Saturday, we were trying to steer the kids away from some of the more rundown, graffiti-marked equipment on the surviving playground (wife to 8 year old: “let’s not play on that, that has naughty words and pictures, and you can read”) when we decided to take a peek at the remaining annex building..

We assumed it was next to fall to the wrecking ball — the parking lot had been chopped up.

We walked past the assorted trash and charred firecracker remnants by the entryway and glanced through the wire mesh that covered the locked glass door. There were a few chairs in the main hallway, but it was hard to tell what was going on inside.

As we stepped back and rounded the outside corner, I caught a glimpse of a penguin. The small bird was set in glazed ceramic in one of the buttresses at eye level. Looking around, I noticed more animals at different heights along the buttresses — elephants, hippos, dinosaurs. A turtle. A scarab beetle. A seahorse.

Some were defaced beyond recognition. Those higher up had escaped damage.

Near one of the doors was a plaque, also ceramic, explaining the decorative tiles were the work of a high school art class. They had been set in 1962.

I later learned the annex will be renovated into an early childhood center, so the animals will be around for awhile.