The Virginia Industrial Home School for Colored Girls – most recently known as the Barrett Learning Center – arose in 1915 in response to an early-20th-century juvenile reform movement in the U.S., especially for African American girls. The complex was the third such school for black girls in the U.S.; and survived its predecessors in Maryland and Missouri. The Hanover County property is important for its association with Janie Porter Barrett, the first African American woman to head a training school. She advocated a pioneering rehabilitation philosophy that was adopted throughout the U.S. and around the world. The complex of mid-20th-century buildings was designed by Merrill C. Lee, a well-known Richmond architect. Lee’s design for the Barrett Juvenile Correctional Center reflects the trend towards architectural modernism in school design embraced by school systems across the country during the mid-20th century. Lee’s design also complements the progressive pedagogy established by Barrett in 1915. The period of significance for the complex is from 1915 when the school was established to 1965 when the facility was racially integrated.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark
DHR has secured permanent legal protection for over 700 historic places - including 15,000 acres of battlefield lands
DHR has erected 2,532 highway markers in every county and city across Virginia
DHR has engaged over 450 students in 3 highway marker contests
DHR has stimulated more than $4.2 billion dollars in private investments related to historic tax credit incentives, revitalizing communities of all sizes throughout Virginia