Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

117-5002 Lylburn Downing School

Lylburn Downing School
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/18/2003

NRHP Listing Date 10/23/2003

NPS property number 03001093

Lylburn Downing School was completed in 1927 and expanded in 1940 to provide primary and secondary school education for Lexington’s African American community. Lexington blacks formed a Home and School League in 1922, which successfully petitioned the Lexington School Board for the new school building. The school was named for the Reverend Lylburn L. Downing, a prominent native of Lexington who served as pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Roanoke from 1894 to 1937. The Classical Revival-style brick school continues to stand as a little-altered example of Virginia public school design in the 1920s, with a central auditorium flanked by classrooms. The Julius Rosenwald Fund provided $1,500 for construction, while members of the Lexington African Americans community contributed $500 to the total cost of $32,000 for building the school. Many graduates from Lylburn Downing School went on to distinguished careers in education, law, and social services.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated November 7, 2018