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Buena Vista Colored School

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1915, 1926. 30th St. at Aspen Ave.
  • (HABS; Photograph by Renee Bieretz)
  • (HABS; Photograph by Renee Bieretz)
  • (HABS; Photograph by Renee Bieretz)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

In the middle of Buena Vista's boom, the town's first African American school and church (1891) were built on this lot at the northern edge of town. The church moved in 1902 but the school remained. It burned in 1915, but was rebuilt immediately, keeping the same simple, four-bay, one-story, brick rectangular form. A central chimney vented the woodstove that was the only source of heat for the two-room interior. In 1926 a section was added to the east that extended the facade to seven bays. The resulting three-room building served as the town's only school for African American children in grades 1–7 until 1957. It never had indoor plumbing and photographs show a wooden and later a brick outhouse. The brick outbuilding that survives was used for wood and coal storage. A local group is working to restore the building as a museum and community center.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Buena Vista Colored School", [Buena Vista, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 132-132.

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