SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) – On Monday, Representative Ted Budd (R-NC) announced that the National Park Service (NPS) is awarding Livingstone College a competitive federal grant of $ 500,000 to help with Phase III of the rehabilitation of the Carnegie Library on Campus.
“Providing economic opportunities for everyone is a crucial mission for me in Congress and it all starts with education,” Budd said. “I am proud to announce that Livingstone College has won these federal dollars and that this new funding will help them complete the Carnegie Library Rehabilitation Project. This project will help preserve the historic character of this iconic building on the Livingstone campus.
This is the third such grant the college receives for the library. The National Park Service announced the first award in August 2018. The second grant was awarded in the spring of 2020, a welcome announcement during the coronavirus pandemic.
The award was made possible through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grants Program, funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. It is part of $ 7.7 million in grants to 18 projects in 12 states for the preservation of historic structures on HBCU campuses.
“HBCUs have been an important part of the American education system for over 180 years, providing top academics, opportunities and community to generations of students,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “The National Park Service’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grants Program provides assistance in preserving remarkable structures that honor the past and tell the continuing story of these historic institutions.”
The first grant was awarded for Phase I, which included the technical architectural study, water infiltration works to stabilize the foundations and roof repairs / replacement.
“The Livingstone College family is deeply grateful for the continued support of the National Park Service in ensuring that the Andrew Carnegie Library is preserved for the future efforts of the City of Salisbury and the students of Livingstone College,” said the President of Livingstone, Dr Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. “The library offers beauty and style to the College campus and to the West End community where it is located. It has a distinctive character that well represents the enduring legacy of the first classically trained African-American architect, Robert Robinson Taylor, originally from Wilmington, North Carolina. The library is a lasting tribute to the generosity of the Andrew Carnegie Foundation for the Education of African Americans in the early 1900s, as well as today.
“We are indeed proud to be the current stewards of this iconic building, because it truly is a labor of love for the Livingstone family. Finally, we wish to express our gratitude to Congressman Ted Budd and his office for his support in our efforts to secure these grant funds. “
The library, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is named after 19th-century industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who funded numerous libraries, 18 of which are on HBCU campuses. But there are only two university libraries that have been allowed to use the donor’s first name: the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie. Pennsylvania and Livingstone College.
The Livingstone Library was funded with $ 12,500 in 1905 at the request of Booker T. Washington. The library was designed by Robert Robinson Taylor, the first African-American architect to study college in the United States. Most of the bricks were fired in the campus kiln. Brick students on campus laid many bricks.
“This grant is important not only to Livingstone College, but to our community at large, as it preserves an important and remarkable historical structure, still in use today,” said Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander. “This building contains not only the stories of the past, but those of the present and can now continue to contain the still unknown stories. I thank Congressman Ted Budd for all the support from him and his staff since starting this project in 2019. ”
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