• Emery Hall, by architect Frank Packard, was built in 1913 for Ohio's Wilberforce University, the oldest private black university in the nation. Currently owned by Central State University, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Central State will receive a $1.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior to repair and restore the structure.

    Credit: Justin Masterson

    Emery Hall, by architect Frank Packard, was built in 1913 for Ohio's Wilberforce University, the oldest private black university in the nation. Currently owned by Central State University, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Central State will receive a $1.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior to repair and restore the structure.

Twenty historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are getting an infusion of federal stimulus money to preserve historic buildings on their campuses, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at a press conference today. Salazar made the announcement as he stood in front of one of the buildings the National Park Service (NPS) has selected to receive funds, the 1913 Miner Normal School building on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where generations of black teachers have received training. Diverging from his prepared remarks, Salazar said that the $14.25 million in historic preservation grants is "one small step of many that need to be taken to make sure that the American story is an all-inclusive story."

Based on architectural significance and critical need of repairs, the 21 projects (listed below) on 20 campuses were chosen from 107 applications submitted in June. From 1980 through 2006, the NPS granted roughly $3 million a year to HBCUs for preservation projects, but the grants required matching funds, which many schools failed to raise. U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) successfully pushed for increasing funding and easing the match requirements in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "We can't wait for these cities and counties to raise the match. What's good for the goose is good for the gander," he said in July.

A representative from the NPS is notifying grant recipients today. Grant totals range from $123,570, for the African Zion Baptist Church (1872) at West Virginia State University, to $1.75 million, for Central State University's Emery Hall (1913). Salazar said that Howard University's Miner building (1914), designed by D.C. architect Snowden Ashford, will receive $800,000 for a new roof, new windows, and initial renovations to its central auditorium, which has been closed for years. The government funding is expected to encourage private donor funding, said Leslie Fenwick, dean of Howard's School of Education, which is housed in the building.

After hearing the news, students from the school led Salazar on a tour of the site.

 

HBCU ARRA GRANT RECIPIENTS

Alcorn State University, Alcorn State, Miss.

Belles Lettres Hall – $400,000

Allen University, Columbia, S.C.

Chappelle Auditorium – $1,000,000

Bennett College, Greensboro, N.C.

Ethel Black Hall – $400,000

Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio

Emery Hall – $1,750,000

Cheyney University, Cheyney, Pa.

Melrose Cottage – $300,000

Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta

Trevor Arnett Hall – $400,000

Dillard University, New Orleans

Camphor/Hartzell Complex – $800,000

Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, N.C.

Moore Hall – $500,000

Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.

John Wesley Work House – $89,516

Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla.

George M. Sampson Hall – $700,000

Harris Stowe State University, St. Louis

Vashon Community Center – $1,000,000

Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Miner Normal School – $800,000

Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY 

Old Federal Building and Post Office – $1,000,000

Langston University, Langston, OK

Cottage Row Historic District – $500,000

Meharry Medical College, Nashville

Hulda Margaret Lyttle Hall – $1,000,000

St. Paul's College, Lawrenceville, Va.

The Saul Building – $349,706; Fine Arts Building – $245,000

Talladega College, Talladega, Ala. 

Foster Hall – $700,000

Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Miss.

John W. Boddie House – $829,007

West Virginia State University, Institute, W.Va.

African Zion Baptist Church – $123,570

Xavier University, New Orleans

Administration Building – $463,201