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U.Va. Architecture Professor And Students Present Design And Preservation Strategies For Greensville County African-American Educational Landmark

October 19, 2004 -- On Friday Oct. 22, 10 fourth-year students from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture will present preliminary design strategies for revitalization and preservation of the Greensville County Training School to Citizens United to Preserve the Greensville County Training School.

The Training School was built in 1929 with funds provided by the Rosenwald School Fund, an organization that helped to build schools in the South for African–Americans. This fall, it became the subject of an undergraduate architectural design studio, led by U.Va. Architecture Professor Craig Barton, which encourages students to examine the connections among architectural design, local history and community development.

In September, Barton and his students toured the site, studied the building and met with members of the Citizens United group to learn about their experiences as students at the Training School firsthand. Since the initial visit, the U.Va. students have investigated a variety of ideas to preserve and revitalize this important cultural landscape, which once served as the area’s school for African Americans and the focus of Emporia’s and Greenville County’s African-American community. Members of the Citizens United group have been working since 1999 to raise funds to preserve the school, which is owned by the Greensville County Board of Education. The alumni group’s preliminary development plans for the project were approved earlier this month.

After their presentations, the U.Va. students will continue to work collaboratively with Barton and the preservation group to develop ideas to preserve and revitalize the school and its site, so that the project can more effectively reflect the history of the area and its African-American community.

Barton, the editor of the anthology “Sites of Memory: Perspectives on Race and Architecture” (2000 Princeton Architectural Press), is an authority on the preservation and interpretation of African-American cultural landmarks. He has worked with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Park Service and the National Voting Rights Museum. His work in Emporia is supported by a grant from the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Center for African-American Studies and the University’s Center for the Study of Local Knowledge.

For presentation time and location, contact Frances Carter, Citizens United to Preserve the Greensville Training School, at (434) 348-0108.

Contact: Jane Ford, (434) 924-4298

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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