Saint Augustine’s Chapel and Hermitage Hall Restoration Project
St. Augustine’s University was founded in 1867 to aid enslaved African Americans in gaining true freedom and independence through education. St. Augustine’s University received two HBCU grants, one in 2018 and another in 2021. The 2018 grant funds were used to restore and preserve stained-glass windows of Saint Augustine’s Chapel. The University’s chapel was built by the students and is a National Historic Landmark. The 2021 grant funds St. Augustine’s University received will preserve Hermitage Hall. Constructed in 1914, Hermitage Hall was a trade building and infirmary, later it became a girl’s dormitory. At that time, the Trade Building was an avenue for Black students to properly gain a trade and elevate their education by benefiting from a liberal arts curriculum. This project will conduct a building assessment, remove hazardous materials (mold) and remediate any mold found in the building.
The impact of the grant has been phenomenal for Saint Augustine’s University (SAU), the city of Raleigh, State of NC and the Episcopal Diocese. This 200 year structure has served as a beacon of hope and light for the aforementioned demographic groups. The handmade stained glass windows have been totally restored and we are now awaiting the restoration and preservation of the historic pews and kneelers. This project has initiated an unparalleled excitement on our campus and within the local and statewide geographic areas; inciting the outreach of additional grant funding for campus wide historic landmarks. SAU is becoming more of an epic landmark among national historic landmarks, particularly among HBCUs. We are forever grateful to NPS for the opportunity to expand our historical horizons."- Linda Gunn-Jones, D.S.W.- Director Title III Services/Office of Sponsored Programs