On February 16, 2021, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, through its HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative, awarded more than $650,000 in grants to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities to fund Cultural Heritage Stewardship Plans.
In 2020, through the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with National Endowment for the Humanities launched the Initiative with leadership support from Ford Foundation, the JPB Foundation, J.M Kaplan Fund, Executive Leadership Council, Chipstone Foundation, Wunsch Americana Foundation, and James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation.
The Initiative seeks to provide technical assistance, fund new Cultural Heritage Stewardship Plans, and empower 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 are preserved to inspire and educate future generations.AJ Sjorter Photographer
Columbia, South Carolina
Benedict College, founded in 1870, will develop a stewardship plan for Duckett Hall (1925). Duckett Hall, designed by South Carolina architect James B. Urquhart, is one of the oldest buildings in the Benedict College Historic District. The building, which houses the Tyrone A. Burroughs School of Business & Entrepreneurship, suffers from water damage that is impacting its structure and historic architecture. The stewardship plan will prioritize Duckett Hall’s repair and guide Benedict College’s future preservation efforts.William Kelly
Jackson State University
Jackson State University, founded in 1877, will develop a campus-wide stewardship plan to support and coordinate ongoing preservation of its 245 acres campus. In recent years, Jackson State has led preservation of historic Mt. Olive Cemetery (1907), Ayer Hall (1903), and the historic Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) Building. The campus-wide plan will allow Jackson State to be a leading force for preservation of its campus and the adjacent Lynch Street corridor.Lane College
Lane College, founded in 1882, will develop a stewardship plan for the J.K Daniels Conference Center (1923). Originally constructed to house its industrial arts program, the Daniels Center now contains campus support services and serves as a gateway into the campus. As the building suffers from deferred maintenance, the stewardship plan will guide repair and restoration of its historic features while developing a rehabilitation plan to adapt the Daniels Center into Lane’s Advancement Center.Paul Burk
Morgan State University
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, will develop a campus-wide plan to support and coordinate ongoing preservation of its 150 acres campus. The campus-wide plan will serve to inform future development and investment at Morgan State while improving capacity to steward its historic assets.Philander Smith College/ Charles King
Philander Smith College
Little Rock, Arkansas
Philander Smith College, founded in 1882, will develop a stewardship plan for the Sherman E. Tate Student Recreation Center (1936). Known as the “Old Gymnasium,” the Tate was constructed by the Works Progress Administration and today is underutilized due to deferred maintenance. The stewardship plan will address critical repairs, rehabilitate the Tate for future use, and provide an opportunity to evaluate its access and relationship with adjacent buildings on the Philander Smith campus.Furery Reid
Spelman College, founded in 1881, will develop a stewardship plan for the Rockefeller Fine Arts Building and Site (1964). The RFA Building was the first Modernist building constructed on Spelman’s campus and has been continuously used by its music, fine arts, and drama departments. The stewardship plan will address updates to the RFA Building’s mechanical and structural systems, as well as improved ADA access, while preserving the building’s architectural character.Michael A. Hubbard
Stillman College, founded in 1875, will develop a stewardship plan for Winsborough Hall (1922). Constructed as a women’s dormitory, Winsborough Hall is the oldest building in the Stillman College Historic District. Winsborough is significant for its association with civil rights as it served as a place of refuge both for Vivian Malone prior to her integration of the University of Alabama and also for SNCC students protesting segregation in Tuscaloosa. As the building is vacant and suffering from significant deferred maintenance, the stewardship plan will address the exterior’s restoration and help develop a rehabilitation plan to return the building to active use by Stillman College.Kwesi Daniels
Tuskegee University, founded in 1881, will develop a stewardship plan for Thrasher Hall (1895) and Sage Hall (1927). Thrasher and Sage Halls were designed by noted African American architect Robert R. Taylor and represent Tuskegee’s legacy of self-sufficiency. Thrasher Hall is currently vacant and in disrepair, while Sage Hall serves as a dormitory. The stewardship plan will focus on preserving Thrasher Hall and rehabilitating Sage Hall for continued use as student housing.
Grant Selection Jury
The HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative Grants were selected by a six-member jury of preservation leaders and institutions working to preserve HBCUs.
- John M. Fowler, Executive Director, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
- Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation
- Johnathan Holifield, Former Executive Director, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- Jessica Kelly, Grants Management Specialist, National Park Service
- Dr. Deborah L. Mack, Interim Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
- Garfield L. Peart, MBA, AIA, NOMA, LEED, President, Syntony Design Collaborative, LLC