Built in 1926, the Panther Branch Rosenwald School is one out of five of the remaining twenty-one constructed in Wake County between 1919 and 1928. We began work on this project back in 2013, and are continuing to make progress!
The building has been lifted from its original foundation by (3) 55’ steel beams by approximately ½”. The existing concrete block foundation wall has been removed, with new 16” wide by 10” deep footings dug and poured with concrete. The new concrete block curtain wall can now be constructed between the existing brick piers, which will be repaired as necessary. Once that work is complete the building can be lowered down onto the new foundation. Things are moving right along out at Panther Branch, but we sure will be happy to see the building back where it belongs…on the ground!
Here's a bit of Rosenwald history from Preservation Leadership Forum:
"In 1912, Booker T. Washington approached philanthropist Julius Rosenwald about his concept to build rural schools desperately needed for African American children across the segregated south. That partnership sparked an initiative that eventually created more than 5300 schools, vocational shops and teacher’s homes across 15 states in the South and Southwest from 1912-1932.
These schools now are 80-100 years old, and many suffer from abandonment, neglect, or lack of resources for continued use by the communities they once served. In 2002 the National Trust placed Rosenwald Schools on the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list and created a special initiative to help raise awareness, find new uses, provide resources, and assist in the preservation and rehabilitation of the aging school buildings."