Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

253-5117 Union Street School

Union Street School
Photo credit: Jane Covington, 2022

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/08/2022

The 1883 Union Street School, located on the northern edge of Leesburg, an incorporated town in Loudoun County, is an intact example of an African American schoolhouse operated during the Jim Crow era of segregation. The Leesburg Training School, as it was known during the 1930s stands as testimony to the fallacy of “separate but equal” doctrine used to justify racial segregation in numerous aspects of Virginian life from the late 19th century through the late 1960s. Union Street School originally was constructed as an elementary school to replace the varied assortment of grade schools established by the Freedmen’s Bureau and later supported by churches, benevolent societies, and local community groups to ensure African American children received access to public education.  Most remarkable is the school’s still little-altered condition since its closure in 1959. Having never received system upgrades such as heating, air conditioning, hot water, or a modern lighting system, the school stands as a witness to the conditions offered to the African American community before the end of segregation.


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


Updated: December 8, 2022