Brief Excerpt From The HBCU Historical Preservation Grant Proposal | Langston University

Brief Excerpt From The HBCU Historical Preservation Grant Proposal

Brief Excerpt From The HBCU Historical Preservation Grant Proposal

Below is a brief excerpt from the grant proposal for the recently funded Preservation of the Historical Cottage Row District project:


Hopefulness and optimism surrounding the HBCU experience are irrevocably shattered when historical properties sit in varying stages of disrepair at the central entryway to the Langston University campus. Many have viewed weather reports touting Oklahoma as a state that is extremely susceptible to severe weather conditions. Devastating tornadoes and tremendous ice storms have resulted in entire Oklahoma communities being leveled. Yet, Langston University’s Cottage Row Historic District still stands. The architectural beauty, presence, and preservation of historic properties on HBCU campuses are critical as these properties create a very tangible bond among African American students from the 1930s, present-day students, and the community at large. The HBCU experience is amplified exponentially when students and visitors who come to campus can not only hear the stories of their predecessors who held bake sales and numerous fundraisers to purchase each brick, each container of mortar and each shingle to erect the cottages for faculty members, but they can reach out and touch the cottages. Preservation of this precious landmark not only results in the recognition, understanding, and preservation of the HBCU story but it keeps a flame burning that we should not ever let become extinguished. Listed on the National Register of Historic Properties and equally as important; built by the hands of Langston University students between 1930 and 1948 are five cottages, three garages, and a west entry gate is collectively known as the Langston University Cottage Row Historic District. These structures are on the original 40 acres appropriated by the General Education Board and recognized for their Tudor Revival architectural style and structural integrity. The National Register’s acceptance, and historic Langston University Cottage Row Historic District; stand as testaments to the dedication and vision of the Langston community forefathers. Established during Oklahoma Territorial days as the Colored Agricultural and Normal University, Langston University has been the rock of the African American community for over 100 years. After petitioning the Oklahoma Industrial School and College Committee for an institution of higher learning in 1892, the citizens of the Langston community worked hard at bake sales, auctions and other fundraising activities to raise the money needed to purchase 40 acres, the original ground on which cottage row was built. Langston University; as the only Historically Black College or University in the state of Oklahoma has received the absolute minimum of resources with which to build, support and maintain the properties on campus. Despite these obstacles, HBCU’s; and particularly Langston University has produced world-renown educators, doctors, lawyers, journalists, and researchers that successfully practice locally and abroad. The university received and completed a stimulus grant for preservation activities in 2009; however, there are several other distinct and different preservation activities that require our immediate attention."


The grant proposal written by Dr. Nancy Alexander, Mautra Staley Jones, and Joshua Snavely.