Brown School receives grant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2002

After years of deterioration and vacancy, Brown School Inc. will now be revived.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently awarded a $1,000 seed grant to help match local funds for the facility formerly known as the Street Manual Training School Campus preservation project.

Street Manual Training School, located in Richmond, is one of Dallas County’s forgotten treasures. The school was established in 1904 by Emmanuel M. Brown, who dedicated his life to educating young black men and women in the area. It was a successful private, nationally supported industrial training school for blacks, according to Dr. Louella Wilkins, coordinator of school’s preservation project.

Street Manual Training School Campus closed in 1971 and remains vacant. Wilkins and other community members came together in 1995 and began raising funds for the restoration of the 100-year-old school.

Wilkins said she was pleased to get the grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Last week the Alabama Historic Commission placed the school on its list of 25 Most Endangered Historical Sites.

Wilkins said the grant will be used to hire Angelo Franceschina of the Rural Initiative Project Inc. of Winston-Salem, N.C., to develop a strategic feasibility and use plan and to compile information and a contact database for Street Manual Training School Campus Preservation Project.

“With these start-up dollars Brown School Inc. joins communities nationwide committed to preserving America’s architectural and cultural heritage, and in so doing, creating more livable communities, said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For more information about the preservation project, contact Wilkins at 334-872-9592.