To be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, the property must meet the following criteria for evaluation:
1. Age – Is the property old enough to be considered historic (at least 50 years old)?
2. Integrity – Does it still look much the way it did in the past?
3. Significance – Is the property associated with events, activities, or developments that were important in the past? With the lives of people who were important in the past? With significant architectural history, landscape history, or engineering achievements? Does it have the potential to yield information through archeological investigation about our past?
While just about all the schools meet the significance criteria, many fail the age and integrity criteria. If the original school was destroyed and/or reconstructed in a way that makes the original property unrecognizable to a student 50 years ago, it fails the integrity criteria.
For more information about the nomination: Overview of the Nominations Process
These schools have met the criteria:
BEAUREGUARD PARISH TRAINING SCHOOL
This is the national register of historic places entry for the Beauregard Parish Training School in DeRidder, Louisiana. The training school entered the National Register of Historic Places in March 1996. This entry in the National Register of Historic Places provides additional information on the concept of the “Parish Training School.” Parish Training Schools were created in 1911 to provide a parish with a central public school for African Americans, provide industrial and manual training and prepare teachers serving the region’s rural black elementary schools.
PHOTOS FROM THE ENTRY
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
This application to the National Register of Historic Places was sent in April 2015. This high school was noted for its state of the art construction. While various additions have been placed on the original building, the original building has maintained its structural integrity.
BETHUNE JR-SR HIGH SCHOOL
Bethune Jr-Sr High School opened in September 1961 placing it squarely between Brown v. Topeka Board of Education and the desegregation of schools in Shreveport in 1970. This was a period of educational transition as African American students moved from rural and small city schools to modern schools in the Shreveport area. Bethune Jr-Sr High School is now named Oak Park Elementary Middle School. Despite the change in school’s mission, much of the original structure of the school remains making this school eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The large amount of photographs enables the viewers to imagine themselves walking the hallways of the school.
COHN HIGH SCHOOL
Cohn High School of Port Allen, Louisiana was the only African American High School in West Baton Rouge Parish. Prior to its opening, West Baton Rouge Parish’s African American children attended school for grades 1-8 at The Port Allen Colored School. After eighth grade, students had to stay with family or strangers in Iberville Parish or Baton Rouge City in order to receive a high school education. Most families were unable attended high school. The establishment of Cohn High School enabled the African American youth to attend college and contribute to the education and development of Port Allen. Cohn High School ran from the fall of 1949 until the onset of integration in 1969. It was demolished in 2014 due to its deteriorating condition. Below is a video from the West Baton Rouge Museum, which commemorated the school with a special exhibit from February – March 2016. PHOTOS
JOHN S. DAWSON HIGH SCHOOL
This application was submitted in April 2015. Dawson High closed in 1969 after the Carter v. West Feliciana Parish School Board, which mandated all of West Feliciana Parishes schools be desegregated by February 1, 1970. It was the epicenter for African American education during its time.
PLAISANCE HIGH SCHOOL
Plaisance High School of Opelousas, Louisiana is the only Rosenwald School in the state, in its original location, being used for its original purpose. Plaisance was constructed in 1920 and was historically rare. Most of the other Rosenwald schools were demolished or incorporated as part of a larger modern structure. Plaisance High School was consolidated into North West High School on June 30th, 1991 and is now known as Plaisance Elementary School. Opelousas students attend the school from fifth to eighth grade. The mascot is still the Indians. PHOTOS
ST. MATTHEW’S HIGH SCHOOL
St. Matthews High School of Natchitoches Parish was the first public high school building constructed for African Americans in Lower Natchitoches Parish. When it opened in 1952, it was one of two public senior high schools for African Americans in the Natchitoches Parish. The other high school, Central High School was located 25 miles away from St. Matthews. Students from St. Matthews Junior High had to transfer to Central High School in order to receive a high school education. This entry from the National Register of Historic Places shows the growth of the school from a “church school” serving elementary schools in 1916, until its growth to a full fledged high school in 1952. St. Matthews High School discontinued in 1989. The St. Matthew School Community Association, Inc. was formed with the intention of converting the school into a community center.
PHOTOS OF ST.MATTHEWS
OLD DORMITORY OF TANGIPAHOA PARISH TRAINING SCHOOL
The Tangipahoa Parish Training School of Kentwood, Louisiana was founded in 1911, making it the first “county training school” in the South. Sixteen parish training schools were established in Louisiana. The dormitory of the Tangipahoa Parish Training School was entered into the National Register on July 27th, 1979 making the dormitory the first entry in the register recognizing African American High Schools in Louisiana. Since the school drew students from the Washington, St. Tammy, St. Helena, East and West Feliciana Parishes and Southern Mississippi, a dormitory was necessary for students who could not live at home. The building was constructed in the early 1920s and was converted to Home Economic classrooms in the 1950s. Currently, the dormitory is not in its original location. The building was moved due to threats of demolition. PHOTOS