On February 28, 2022, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, through its HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative, awarded more than $650,000 in grants to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to fund Cultural Heritage Stewardship Plans. Each of these prestigious schools are stewards of important architecture, historic assets, cultural landscapes, and collections, which represent more than a century of learning, growing, and empowerment for their students, faculty, and alumni.
With this year’s HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship grant recepients, we are advancing this idea of a campus-wide preservation plan—a roadmap for preserving and celebrating the historic and hallowed places important to their institutional legacy. There are 105 HBCUs across the country, and their infrastructure needs are increasingly urgent. These campus-wide plans help keep legacy as an essential part of any future improvement, development, or maintenance.
Florida A&M University
Florida A&M, founded in 1887, will develop a campus-wide plan for its 422-acre campus. In recent years, its Black Archives, Architecture Department, and Office of Facilities have developed collaborative rehabilitation projects for historic buildings such as Sunshine Manor, the Carnegie Library, and Gibbs Cottage. The campus-wide plan will enable the university to develop a strategic approach to preserving additional buildings within its historic district.
Holly Springs, Mississippi
Rust College, founded in 1866, will develop a campus-wide stewardship plan for its historic campus and the adjacent former Mississippi Industrial College campus (1905), which it acquired in 2008. The campus-wide plan will guide the college as it addresses deferred maintenance of historic buildings, such as the Leontyne Price Library and McCoy Hall, as well as how to incorporate Mississippi Industrial College’s remaining buildings into the campus landscape.
Johnson C. Smith University
Charlotte, North Carolina
Johnson C. Smith University, founded in 1867, will develop a stewardship plan for the Historic Quad, which consists of five historic buildings: Biddle Hall (1883), Carter Hall (1896), the Music Building (1922), Berry Hall (1924), and Myers Hall (1967). The stewardship plan will guide the university in restoring the historic buildings while adapting the spaces for uses that meet the campus community’s needs.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Shaw University, founded in 1865, will develop a campus-wide plan to support and coordinate ongoing preservation of its 65-acre campus. In recent years, Shaw has undertaken rehabilitation of historic Leonard Hall (1883) and Etsey Hall (1873). The campus-wide plan will enable the university to develop rehabilitation plans for additional historic buildings as well as address the goal of connecting its campus back to downtown Raleigh while removing public access barriers.
Denmark, South Carolina
Voorhees College, founded in 1897, will develop a campus-wide plan for its 380-acre campus. The campus plan will enable the college to address deferred maintenance and plan for rehabilitating significant historic buildings such as Menafee Hall (1907) and Massachusetts Hall (1930).
The Initiative provides technical assistance, funds new Cultural Heritage Stewardship Plans, and empowers HBCUs with the resources to protect, preserve, and leverage their historic campuses, buildings, and landscapes, ensuring these academic institutions and symbols of African American pride continue to inspire and educate future generations.
The National Trust launched the Initiative in 2020 through the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, in partnership with National Endowment for the Humanities and with leadership support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, the JPB Foundation, J.M Kaplan Fund, Executive Leadership Council, Chipstone Foundation, Wunsch Americana Foundation, and James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation.
Source: National Trust for Historic Preservation