The Georgia Trust

2007 PLACES IN PERIL: ELEANOR ROOSEVELT SCHOOL

unrecognized african-american school threatened by neglect

The Story: After Franklin Roosevelt's long and ultimately successful struggle to provide Warm Springs a school for its African-American students, the Eleanor Roosevelt School was dedicated in 1937. The very last built of over 5,000 such schools seeded with money from Julius Rosenwald, an early investor, president and chairman of Sears, the school was completed with funds from the WPA and the African-American community. The Eleanor Roosevelt School ultimately closed in 1972.

Threat: For the last 30 years, building usage has been limited to office space and storage. Although the original windows are gone, the building's four classrooms, auditorium and library remain virtually unchanged. Although in sound structural condition, the school requires extensive rehabilitation.

Solution: Meriwether County is considering purchasing the building from the current owner. Local leaders, former teachers, HPD and other interested citizens have met to discuss alternative usages, such as a community center or African- American museum. Although in need of planning, funding and rehabilitation, the Eleanor Roosevelt School does appear to have a future. However, this may not be case for other Rosenwald schools in the state. Of the 242 Georgia Rosenwald schools built, only 42 have been identified as extant.

-30-

 

 

CONNECT WITH US

twitter

Site Map   |   Search