Fairmount School listed on the on the National Register of Historic Places

12/10/2005 2:13 PM by

On November 17th, the National Park Service announced the listing of the Fairmount School, currently senior housing, on the National Register of Historic Places.

fairmount house richmond


Fairmount School, 1501 North 21st Street

From the National Register of Historic Places registration form (PDF):

Fairmount School was constructed about 1895 at the corner of 21st and T Streets in what is now Richmond’s north Church Hill neighborhood. At the time of its construction, however, it was located in – and named for – Henrico County’s Fairmount District. (The original architect is unknown, as is the original cost of the structure.) It remained a part of the Henrico County school system until that district was annexed into the City of Richmond in 1906. Upon annexation on 1906, the school’s fifteen teachers taught 500 students in grades one through seven. The district was an
expanding one: a scant two years after annexation, the 1907-08 enrollment at Fairmount School was 685, a 37% increase in the number of students in two years.

From the Richmond City Public School’s history:

The original school was a three-story brick structure, believed to have been built about 1879, to serve the town of Fairmount. When it was annexed from Henrico County in 1906, Fairmount had an enrollment exceeding 500 in grades 1-7 and a faculty of fifteen teachers. The School Board purchased an additional lot adjoining the school on 21st Street.

In 1908, an addition was made (eight classrooms, assembly room, office), and the original building was renovated; at an October 17 ceremony, state and national flags were hoisted simultaneously on Fairmount’s two towers. Another addition(fourteen rooms) was opened in 1916; in 1924-25, a half block of ground, north of the building, was added. A 1950 addition included auditorium, cafeteria, library, and offices; in 1961, the old auditorium was converted into four classrooms.

Fairmount School was renamed Helen Dickinson in 1925, to honor a former principal. It returned to the original name of Fairmount in September 1958, upon its conversion to a Negro school with pupils from Bowler, Buchanan, George Mason, and Woodville. Under Plan III, Fairmount was paired with Francis.

Fairmount School was closed in 1979; in 1979-80, the George Mason program was housed here while its building was being renovated. Fairmount School was declared surplus to the City, January 31, 1981. It was subsequently purchased by Churchill-Fairmount Limited Partnership and has been rehabilitated as housing for elderly and handicapped residents.



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