In the early 20th century, Booker T. Washington saw the lack of adequate school facilities in rural areas of the South and proposed an affordable and efficient model. He gained the financial support of Julius Rosenwald, Jewish philanthropist and president of Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Between 1920 and 1932, approximately 388 Rosenwald School buildings and 31 teachers residences were constructed in Louisiana. Some were used until the educational system in Louisiana was desegregated in 1971.
The Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation has been researching and documenting the status of remaining schools.
As of today, 18 schools and 2 teacher residences are still standing - all in various conditions. These schools can be adapted into new uses and interpreted as a significant part of our state’s history.
The Trust placed the Louisiana Rosenwald Schools on their Most Endangered Places List in 2022.