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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Breck Chapman, 02/2004
Public School No. 111
Inventory No.: B-3930
Other Name(s): Francis Ellen Harper School
Date Listed: 9/25/1979
Location: 1024 N. Carrollton Avenue, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1889
Description: The Francis Ellen Harper School, No. 111, is a Romanesque brick structure that is a rather simple building with an ornately detailed brick front fa├žade. Built in a traditionally black neighborhood two blocks from Lafayette Square, the school is surrounded by mid and late 19th century rowhouses in good condition. The two-story, three-bay wide building features a projecting entrance and a recessed section above with large semi-circular windows. The projecting entrance is defined by simple brick pilasters with stone capitals and bases and a large triple header brick entrance arch surmounted by a metal cornice and blind balustrade. The cornice is supported by corbeled brick brackets. The balustrade has stone end caps. The entrance doors are set into a recessed arch and are surmounted by a large multi-paned, semicircular transom protected by a metal grille. Three stone steps lead to the doors. Significance: The Francis Ellen Harper School was built in 1889 as Colored School #9. The City of Baltimore began providing education for blacks in 1867. The earliest schools for blacks were usually rented facilities or older schools which had originally been used by whites. This school is significant for being one of the few surviving schools built for black children and staffed by black teachers. The separate school systems for whites and blacks operated as late as the 1950s. The school is named after Francis Ellen Harper (1825-1911), a Baltimore-born black poet. She attended a Free Negro School conducted by her uncle, William Watkisn, while a child in Baltimore. By 1854 she became recognized as a great black poet with her work Autumn Leaves.


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