Rosenwald Hall

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City/Town: Lima
Location Class: School
Year Built: 1921
Year Abandoned: Late 1980's
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Jennifer BurtonLeslie Flaming

Rosenwald Hall, a rectangular red-brick building with white clapboard sections, served the community of Lima, Oklahoma, from 1921 to 1966. Duringperiod it was Lima’s only elementary school. Lima, one of twenty-nine all-Black towns founded in Oklahoma before statehood (twenty-five in the Indian Territory and four in the Oklahoma Territory), is one of only three such towns in existence. The towns attracted a population consisting of migrants from other regions as well as former slaves of the Indians. During the first half of the twentieth century, educational opportunities for African American schoolchildren were stifled by racism, a shortage of money, and inadequate facilities. Beginning in the mid-teens, however, black schools throughout the south received much needed financial assistance from the Julius Rosenwald Fund.
Rosenwald Hall has a place in history as a facility constructed with funds from the Julius Rosenwald Fundation

PhotobucketJulius Rosenwald (1862-1932), businessman and philanthropist, was president of Sears, Roebuck, and Company from 1910 to 1925 and became chairman of the board in 1925. He established the Julius Rosenwald fund in 1917. Influenced by the renowned African American educator Booker T. Washington, Rosenwald contributed through his fund part of the construction costs for more than 4,000 schools for Black children in 15 southern states.

The Rosenwald Fund’s initial activity was to aid in the construction of new buildings for black schools. Although the fund did not supply all the money necessary for the erection of new buildings, it did provide sufficient money to act as an impetus for the local district to better their facilities. In Oklahoma the Rosenwald Fund aided in the construction of 198 education-related buildings in forty-four counties between 1920 and 1932. Of the 198 buildings, 176 were schoolhouses, ranging in size from one-teacher to twenty-two-teacher, 16 were teacherages, and 6 were shops.
The Rosenwald school building program ended in Oklahoma and nationally in 1932. Of the Rosenwald Schools constructed in all-Black towns in Oklahoma, this is the only one remaining. Rosenwald Hall, a building that has retained much of its original character, closed as a school in 1966 but remained in use as a day care center from 1970 to 1985 and as a town hall since 1985.”

Source: Black heritage sites: an American odyssey and finder’s guide by Nancy C. Curtis.
and Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History

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Patricia
7 months ago

They now built New Lima. I’ve always wanted to go into the original one! I used to attend New Lima about 3 years ago. I was there my whole school life. From Kindergarten until two weeks of my freshman year.

Kara
Kara
4 years ago

Does anyone know who owns this place? I am looking to open a school and would love to bring this place back to life.

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4 years ago

Education is not about the biggest thing and to do biggest things in our life. But it is all about to learn the small things in our life and to seek lessons from our small learning. As the beauty of life is in small things.

Eddie Taylor
Eddie Taylor
6 years ago

does anyone know about rosenwald schools in and around Boynton, Oklahoma?

Tim Gibbs
8 years ago

Does anyone have Pics of the Old Lima School Before the fire? if so can you send them to gravehunter_1973@yahoo.com 🙂

Thanks Timmy Gibbs

guest
guest
9 years ago

Great Pictures…..would love to explore this old site…..

elizabeth
elizabeth
9 years ago

Im a local Photographer and Love to Photograph old , abandonded buildings as well… How are you guys able to photograph so many places.. Thanks so much!! osufangirl@yahoo.com

kenneth brooks(joe)
kenneth brooks(joe)
9 years ago

need to see photos of main building building #1

Beth
Beth
9 years ago

Why do they not just restore it or tear it down? I would rather see it restored but it seems that no one is stepping up to the plate. There are so many places like this all over the country and I don't understand why they are just left.

John
John
9 years ago

My friends and I tried to visit…no luck. The entire place is fenced for cattle to roam. Wish we could have taken more photographs.

Patricia
Reply to  John
7 months ago

You can go now, the fence should be down

Tery
Tery
9 years ago

A good job on the photos.I love the color contrast of the red brick and deep blue sky….it's a shame such an old historic and stout building has been left to sit and go to ruins!! Take care—Tery

Ken
Ken
9 years ago

Beautiful! Love the Compuer in the firt picture,

amanda
amanda
9 years ago

glad you like the pictures!

Lazzaro
Lazzaro
9 years ago

Man, I really enjoy this site. You guys prowl some facinating places.

Keep it up, please!

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