A new blog is available for the authors of a new book “African Americans of Alexandria, Virginia: Beacons of Light in the Twentieth Century.” Please visit their blog at http://www.changeagents818.wordpress.com. Click on the different sections About, Contact Us, and Calendar of Events. Do not forget to order the book and come back to the blog for a book discussion. If you want to invite the authors for a lecture and book signing, go to “Contact Us” on their Blog and send an e-mail. Thanks!
The Carver Nursery School could be demolished as soon as the month of February if the community does not intervene. The school was constructed during World War II through an Act of Congress to fund nursery schools so that parents of children could work in the war effort. The Carver Nursery appears to be the only one built specifically for African Americans. The building consisted of two classrooms with a playground on site. The playground is now the Hunter-Miller Park. Located in the Parker-Gray Neighborhood, the school was in the heart of a thriving Black business area at Queen and Fayette Streets.
The school would later become the William Thomas Post#129 of the American Legion and was the social hub of the neighborhood.
Two and a half years ago, a local developer who then applied for a demolition permit purchased the property. The Parker-Gray Board of Architectural Review and the City Council approved the demolition. The developer has already built eleven houses in the neighborhood and recently put eight condominiums in a former laundry building nearby. The eight condominiums (condos) add character and blend in with the neighborhood. The demolition of the Carver School runs contrary to the purpose of the Parker-Gray Historic District.
The Parker-Gray Historic District was created in 1984 and one of its main purposes was to protect the area from development pressures that could arise from the building of the King Street and Braddock Metro Stations. The stations are within blocks of the Carver Nursery School. The plan in 1984 was to nominate the neighborhood for the National Register of Historic Places. In 2004, the City of Alexandria conducted a survey and at that time, the Carver Nursery School was one of many structures singled out as having contributed character to the neighborhood. The two Parker-Gray Schools had already been demolished. The threat of the demolition of Carver School is a test to the preservation of buildings that have played a part in the history of Black Alexandria. This building is the only known building of its type still existing and was listed on Preservation Virginia’s eleven most endangered properties list of 2010.
Saving Carver Nursery School Building:
There is only one option for saving the building and that is for the City of Alexandria to intervene. Ask the City to temporarily halt the demolition so that the community can have a voice and suggest some alternatives. To help, please e-mail City Council at www3.alexandriava.gov/contactus/mailto.php?id=610.
You can also contact Boyd Walker from the Greater Alexandria Preservation Alliance at Boydwalker2012@gmail.com to get a copy of the petition that is now circulating, and help gather signatures. Time is running out, so please help us tell the whole story of the Parker-Gray Neighborhood.
Boyd Walker is a community activist who started the Greater Alexandria Preservation Alliance five years ago, to be an advocacy organization for Historic Preservation in Alexandria. The purpose of the Alliance is to work beyond Alexandria’s borders with state and local partners and to make Alexandria a greater place. He is a native of Alexandria who grew up on the “Southside.” He was a co-founder of Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan, now known as Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront and a recent candidate for Alexandria City Council.
The list below is the African American Alexandrians with the “G” surname.
Gaddis, Albert L – born February 5, 1883
Gaddis, George Robert – born August 13, 1873
Gaddis, Henry – born June 10, 1875
Gaddis, Thomas William – born January 2, 1880
Gaines, Courtland Montgomery – born March 28, 1891
Gaines, Howard – born April 27, 1895
Gaines, James Wesley – born April 25, 1843
Galligher, Louis – born September 13, 1880
Gant, Nathaniel – born September 3, 1877
Gantt, Isadore – born December 25, 1892
Gardner, James Edward – born March 4, 1873
Garner, Edward Thomas – born 1888
Gaskins, Aaron B – born April 15, 1880
Gaskins, George – no birth date
Gee, John N – born 1886
Gibson, Abram – born November 7, 1878
Gibson, Charles – born October 14, 1881
Gibson, George Everett – born March 28, 1900
Gilbert, Henry – born February 22, 1881
Gilliam, George – born January 14, 1890
Gilliam, John W – born August 7, 1887
Gilliam, Warren Samuel – born May 22, 1897
Goldman, Fenton O – born February 1, 1896
Goldman, Harrison – born June 20, 1875
Golf, Hiawatha W – born June 17, 1896
Gore, Mason – born April 10, 1895
Grady, Andrew – born April 8, 1895
Grady, Robert Lee – born January 8, 1873
Granderson, Bernard – born October 25, 1883
Grant, James – born September 20, 1899
Grant, James M – born December 13, 1886
Gray, Charles William – born August 20, 1875
Gray, Clarence – born April 12, 1896
Gray, Clarence Alvester – born February 4, 1900
Gray, Clarence Robert – born February 1, 1874
Gray, Ira Davenport – born February 20, 1886
Gray, James H – born November 6, 1895
Gray, John – born September 3, 1888
Gray, John Hamilton – born November 5, 1891
Gray, Leonard Lucas – born September 8, 1876
Gray, Opie – born March 4, 1888
Grayson, Ludwell – born February 15, 1879
Green, Chester Calvin – born March 26, 1885
Green, Clarence – born January 22, 1892
Green, George – born May 7, 1886
Green, John – born April 20, 1884
Green, Joseph – born March 17, 1881
Green, L Augustus – born July 15, 1898
Green, Lawson – born August 31, 1882
Green, Noah – born June 1, 1882
Greene, Charles Henry – born May 26, 1874
Greene, Ernest – born April 3, 1885
Greene, Herbert Ashton – born June 2, 1888
Grey, Lewis – born October 12, 1875
Griffin, Harold Joseph – born September 22, 1872
Griffin, Webster – born August 13, 1898
Griffith, Fletcher – born May 12, 1894
Griggsby, Arthur – born 1892
Grigler, William – born August 1893
Grinege, Cornelius – born 1895
Grinnell, Charles Edward – born October 15, 1874
Grinnell, Thomas James – born August 20, 1877
Groce, Claude – born August 15, 1899
Guse, Julius – born June 5, 1893
Three sculpture artists have bidded for the assignment of designing a sculpture for the Freedmen Cemetery. Please view the three artists and vote.
The three Artists finalist are: Mario Chiodo, Oakland, CA; Edward Dwight, Denver, Colorado; and Erik Blome, Crystal Lake, Illinois.
You must let your preference known by August 6 to the committee. The public committee will consider all the comments in making the final choice. The winner for the sculptor will be announced in September.
Please send your vote to all three e-mail addresses below. Select one of the three artists above. Thanks!
Cheryl Anne Colton,
Acting Deputy Director
In addition, to:
Dr. Pamela Cressey
Office of Historic Alexandria/Alexandria Archaeology