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Lowe's Foundation gift to historic Siloam School restoration
$100,000 for supplies and programming
Published Monday, October 19, 2020 5:00 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Lowe's Foundation donated $100,000 to the Save Siloam School Project to renovate and support educational programs once the former school is moved to the Charlotte Museum of History campus.

The Charlotte Museum of History is one step closer to relocating and renovating the historic Siloam School.

The Lowe’s Foundation donated $100,000 to the Save Siloam School Project, $50,000 in renovation supplies and $50,000 in support of educational programing that will take place at the school once it is operational. Next the museum will launch a formal Request for Qualification process, which will appoint an architect to lead the restoration and relocation.

“Lowe’s is committed to making homes better for all, and that definition of home extends into our neighborhoods and communities, particularly here in our hometown of Charlotte,” Janice Dupré Little, executive vice president of Lowe’s human resources and chair of the Lowe’s Foundation said in a statement. “Preserving the historic Siloam School means saving and restoring a critical piece of Charlotte history that will educate generations to come, and Lowe’s is proud to be a part of this powerful work.”

The Save Siloam School Project has raised $355,000 of the intended $1 million. Major contributions came from the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, which donated $50,000 and $125,000 respectively in 2019.

“The $1 million fundraising goal for the project includes restoring, relocating and preserving the school, as well as developing a history exhibit about the Siloam School and Rosenwald schools generally,” said Adria Focht, president and CEO of the Charlotte Museum of History. “This will provide our community with a tangible experience of this history. It’s a story that we need to understand so that together we can build a more just and equitable community.”

Currently, Siloam sits at its original site on Mallard Highlands Drive near UNC Charlotte, and behind an apartment complex owned by Tribute Companies. A marker denoting the historic significance of the site would be placed at the original location once the school is moved.

In 2016, the Historic Landmarks Commission estimated it would cost $50,000 to relocate the building and an additional $150,000 to restore it for use.

The Museum of History took the lead on preservation and relocation efforts in 2017, with the intention of restoring the building and utilizing it for educational purposes on museum property. The initial goal was to raise $600,000 under former museum president Kay Peninger ahead of the 100-year anniversary of the Rosenwald Foundation in 2017.

Rosenwald Schools were built throughout the South during the early 20th century. Some were established by communities, such as the Siloam school. Others received funding from the Rosenwald Foundation. George E. Davis—Johnson C. Smith University’s first African American professor and the Rosenwald agent – oversaw the construction of 813 schools across North Carolina including 26 in Mecklenburg County.

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