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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Virginia Industrial Home School for Colored Girls
Reference Number 15000926
State VA
County Hanover
Town Mechanicsville
Street Address 11391 Barrett Center Rd.
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 10/7/2016
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The Virginia Industrial Home School for Colored Girls is significant at the statewide level under Criteria A and B and locally significant under Criterion C. It is significant under Criterion A in the areas of Education, Social History, and Ethnic Heritage: African American for its association with the juvenile reform movement in the United States, especially for African American girls. It was the third such school for black girls in the United States and survived its predecessors in Maryland and Missouri. The property is significant at the statewide level under Criterion B in the areas of Social History and Education for its association with Janie Porter Barrett, the first African American woman to head a training school, and for her pioneering rehabilitation philosophy that was adopted throughout the United States and around the world. The center is also significant at the local level under Criterion C in the area of Architecture for its association with Merrill C. Lee, a well-known Richmond architect. The buildings Lee designed for the Barrett Juvenile Correctional Center reflect the trend towards architectural modernism in midtwentieth century school design being embraced by school systems across the country and complement the progressive pedagogy established by Barrett in 1915. The period of significance is from 1915 when the school was established to 1965 when the facility was racially integrated.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria