From the Charlotte Museum of History email newsletter:
The Siloam School arrives at the Charlotte Museum of History. All photos and video courtesy of Grant Baldwin and Joshua Komer.
It's here! After six years of planning and fundraising, this morning we welcomed the historic Siloam School to its new home at the museum! The building will remain under wraps for now to protect it from the elements. Over the coming months, we'll completely restore the school with the help of our many community partners.
Roof removal in preparation for transit. Courtesy of Joshua Komer.
We can't wait to welcome everyone inside this historic treasure when it opens to the public in 2024 as a resource for sharing Charlotte’s 20th-century history. Visit charlottemuseum.org/siloam to learn more about the school or come tour the current Siloam School exhibit, open now inside our modern museum building.
The Siloam School being transported to its new home at the Charlotte Museum of History. Courtesy of Grant Baldwin and Joshua Komer.
About the Siloam School
The Siloam School in its original location, prior to transit. Courtesy of Grant Baldwin and Joshua Komer.
A local Black community, centered on the Siloam Church in northeast Charlotte, built the Siloam School in the early 1920s to give their children a quality education despite segregation.
The Siloam School was one of thousands of Rosenwald-era schools that local communities built throughout the segregated South in the early 1900s to educate African American children. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was critically endangered due to disrepair prior to the project to save it.
The Rosenwald schools program offered matching funds and architectural plans to communities that wanted to build schools for Black students in the early 20th century throughout the segregated rural South. The program produced more than 5,000 schools – 813 of them in North Carolina. By 1928, Rosenwald schools served one-third of the South’s rural African American children. Mecklenburg County had 26 Rosenwald schools; only seven remain today.
However, historical documents suggest that the Rosenwald Fund did not provide any matching funds for the construction of the Siloam School. Instead, it is likely that the local community absorbed the costs to build the school in the Rosenwald tradition, using a Rosenwald school building plan.
Here's the Museum's press release detailing how the project came about.
Learn more by visiting charlottemuseum.org/siloam or find our related previous Fact Fridays:
Fact Friday 200: The Rosenwald Schools
A grand opening and homecoming celebration for the entire Charlotte community will be scheduled for the school in 2024, once the building is fully restored and educational exhibits are installed.
Rendering of restored Siloam School. Credit: LS3P
Until next week!
Charlotte Museum of History email newsletter.
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“History is not the past, it is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.” - James Baldwin