11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Year Listed: 2002
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Threat: Deterioration, Natural Forces, Neglect
In 1912, Booker T. Washington, the country's preeminent African American educator, teamed up with Julius Rosenwald, the millionaire son of German-Jewish immigrants and president of Sears, Roebuck & Co., on an innovative program to improve education for blacks in the south. Over the next 20 years, Rosenwald and his Julius Rosenwald Fund used a pioneering system of matching grants to help construct more than 5,300 schools and related buildings in 15 Southern and Southwestern states. Today, these modest schools, all but forgotten, are disappearing fast.
In 2002, the National Trust for Historic Preservation formed a special initiative in the Southern Office specifically to address Rosenwald school preservation issues that now span a 14-state region.