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U.Va. Architecture Faculty And Students To Visit Greensville County African-American Educational Landmark To Study Design And Preservation Strategies

September 13, 2004 -- On Wednesday, Sept. 15, 10 fourth-year students from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture will travel to Emporia, Va., to visit the Greensville County Training School, the site of their semester-long architectural design project. Led by U.Va. School of Architecture Professor Craig Barton, the students will meet with representatives from Citizens United to Preserve the Greensville County Training School, an alumni group formed to save this important landmark, which at one time served as the area’s high school for African American’s and a hub for Emporia’s African-American community.

While in Greensville, U.Va. architecture students will have an opportunity to tour the site, study the building and meet with members of the citizen preservation group to learn firsthand of their experiences as students at the school. The Greensville County 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. After their visit to the area, the students will work collaboratively with Barton and the Citizens United group, to examine the histories of the region, the city of Emporia and the Halifax Street neighborhood where the school is located. Drawing upon information gathered, students will develop preliminary research-and-design concepts to preserve and revitalize the school and its site so that the history of the area and its African-American community can be more effectively described. Barton and the U.Va. students will present their initial findings in Emporia in October.

Citizens United to Preserve the Greensville County Training School has been working since 1999 to raise funds to preserve the school, owned by the Greensville County Board of Education. The board has given the preservation group until Oct. 1 to present a plan to preserve the abandoned building. The group contacted Barton earlier this year to enlist his support in the project.

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.

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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