11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Historically Black Colleges & Universities

Year Listed: 1998
Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Threat: Poor Public Policy

Significance

Since 1834, when the first historically black college was established, America's historically black colleges and universities have provided education and training to uplift a race long oppressed by slavery and segregation. While these proud institutions continue to serve as anchors for the African-American community, inadequate funding threatens the future of many campus landmarks. Recent gifts from foundations and other supporters, while encouraging, are not nearly enough to make repairs needed to correct years of deferred maintenance. A study by the General Accounting Office found that the estimated cost of restoring and preserving the 712 historic properties -- including dormitories, chapels, gymnasiums and classroom buildings -- owned by the schools is $755 million, of which a mere $60 million, or 8%, has been set aside in school budgets.