Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

251-0003 Saint Paul's College

Saint Paul's College
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/20/1979

NRHP Listing Date 06/27/1979

NPS property number 79003032

The Saul Building, Principal’s Residence, and Memorial Chapel embody the growth of this pioneering historically African American institution from a one-room parochial school to a liberal arts college. Saint Paul’s was established in 1883 by an Episcopal deacon, the Rev. James Solomon Russell (1857-1935), who was born a slave. Russell trained at Petersburg’s Bishop Payne Divinity School. Assigned to Lawrenceville, Russell found a community where “race prejudice seemed rampant and public opinion indifferent if not actually hostile.” By February 1883 a chapel was built, and a parochial school soon was organized. A small school building was later built with funds from the Rev. James Saul of Philadelphia. In 1888 St. Paul’s Normal and Industrial School was founded. The Queen Anne-style Principal’s Residence, was built in 1900. The Memorial Chapel, was completed in 1904. In 1957 the name was officially changed to Saint Paul’s College.  The school was closed in 2013.


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

Updated February 15, 2019