Armstrong Elementary School

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Lynchburg’s Armstrong Elementary School was built for African American students during Virginia’s era of segregated education. Constructed just prior to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas that struck down racial segregation in public schools, the school was a so-called “equalization school,” intended by racial segregationists to forestall integration by offering modern amenities approximately equal to those of whites-only elementary schools in Lynchburg at the time. The desegregation of Lynchburg’s schools only began in 1962, and that effort took a full decade to complete. Armstrong was only used as a city public school for twenty-three years, from 1954 to 1977. It was then used by a private school until 2002. Armstrong Elementary School is a good example of mid-1950s scholastic architecture that was used when school design shifted to smaller schools, and it is the best surviving example of an “equalization school” built in Lynchburg during the 1950s.

Last Updated: April 17, 2024

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

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