90-92, West Washington Street, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County
The Stanton Center is a two-story (plus basement), Classical Revival brick masonry building with a one-story addition located on the north side of West Washington Street in Annapolis. The principal, West Washington Street, façade has a central entry projection with flanking 3-bay walls. The projecting central pavilion has an excellent pedimented entrance that incorporates metopes and triglyphs, dentils, and Doric pilasters supporting a full entablature. The brick is laid in Flemish bond with dark headers, and there is a brick belt course at the second floor level. Window openings have flat brick arches, some with exaggerated brick keystones and ends. The windows are 6/6 sash, except for the stair hall window which has Gothic-arched muntins in the upper sash. The plan consists of four corner classrooms on each floor with a central stairhall. The building’s present form is the result of four building efforts: the main building was originally 2 1/2 stories with no central projection and was constructed between 1897 and 1903; the 1/2-story attic burned and was demolished along with an earlier wood cornice between 1913 and 1921, at which time the projecting entry was added to accommodate a second interior stairway; between 1921 and 1930 a one-story addition was made to the western side of the building; and in 1974 a one-story stuccoed concrete block addition was made to the rear.
The Stanton Center is significant for its association with the development and establishment of an educational system for black children in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Before the Civil War, the education of black children was left to the efforts of various community organizations and churches. In 1869 a site on Washington Street in Annapolis was purchased by the Board of Trustees of the Stanton School as a site for ". . . a school for the colored children of the City of Annapolis." The present building is the second school building on the site and was first used as an elementary school and later became the first black high school in Anne Arundel County. The building was in use until the desegregation of the Anne Arundel County school system in the 1960s. Throughout its history and use as a school and community center, the Stanton School/Center has been an important part of the black community.