Holly Knoll was built in 1935 for Robert Russa Moton, and was his home until his death in 1940.
Moton was one of the most influential African-American educators of his generation, succeeding Booker T. Washington in the leadership of Hampton University and the Tuskegee Institute, and helping found the National Urban League.
It was at the center of strategy discussions amongst African-American intellectuals and activists during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
The home was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1981.
The property was then transformed into a conference center, now The Gloucester Institute, dedicated to continuing Moton's educational legacy.