You are here

Dunbar Magnet Middle School (Dunbar Junior High School)

-A A +A
1929, Wittenberg and Delony. 1100 Wright Ave.
  • (Photograph by Dell Upton)

Wittenberg and Delony were members of the design team for Little Rock Central High School (PU44) two years previously, and the architectural influence of that school is clearly evident in the design of Dunbar, although Dunbar is smaller and less ornate. The three-story school’s central portion and the flanking classroom wings create an open court in front of the building. As at Central High, brick pilasters between the window bays accentuate the verticality of its Art Deco version of Collegiate Gothic, and both schools feature corridors with arched ceilings and similar finishes.

When Dunbar opened in 1929 (the school is named for African American author Paul Laurence Dunbar), it served as a junior high and senior high school and as a junior college for African American students, offering an academic curriculum as well as the traditional vocational programs. The school was one of two industrial arts schools in the South to attain junior college rating in 1931. Dunbar School is one of only a handful of buildings remaining in Arkansas that received funding from the Rosenwald Fund, which was established in 1917 by Julius Rosenwald, president of the Sears, Roebuck and Company to provide financial and technical assistance for the construction of schools for African Americans throughout the South between 1917 and 1932. The building remains in use as a magnet middle school.

Writing Credits

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors


What's Nearby


Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Dunbar Magnet Middle School (Dunbar Junior High School)", [Little Rock, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 139-139.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.