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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: S. Marsh, 02/2003
Marley Neck Rosenwald School
Inventory No.: AA-2066
Other Name(s): Halls Memorial United Methodist Church Hall
Date Listed: 6/24/2005
Location: 7780 Solley Road , Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1927-1954
Description: The former Marley Neck School, now used as a church hall, is situated immediately south of the Hall Memorial United Methodist Church in rural northeast Anne Arundel County. This rectangular-shaped one-story frame building has been altered, but its form and fenestration pattern readily identify it as a Rosenwald School. Measuring approximately 68' x 20', the school is a long, narrow, side-gable frame building. Walls are sheathed in sections of roughly 4' long clapboards and rest on a low concrete pier foundation. The low-pitched roof features open eaves with exposed rafter ends. Mitered bargeboards accent the gable ends. Window openings, a defining characteristic of Rosenwald Schools, have been altered, but will be restored as part of the planned rehabilitation work. Originally the front (east) facade contained a bay of seven closely set sash windows on either side of a centrally located entrance. The front facade now contains six pairs (three on either side of the door) of small, modern sliding sash windows utilizing original openings (reduced vertically in size), and the locations of the other original window openings are discernible in the infill and framing. The front door appears original, featuring six lights above three recessed horizontal panels. A bracketed shed-roof door hood protects the doorway and step below and is an original feature. Two small sash windows flank the doorway and are currently covered over. Sections of wall cladding have been replaced on the rear face. Three original windows survive. The remaining openings are infilled or replaced with modern sliding sash types like those found on the principal facade. The back door features six recessed panels and appears original to the building. The porch hood, similar to that protecting the front entrance, is original though partially rebuilt. Other openings include a louvered ventilator window in the upper gable end, and the north wall contains a pair of sliding glass windows identical to those found in other parts of the building. A small counter is attached to the base of the window. A 5 'x 7' poured concrete deck surrounds the window and counter. This arrangement allowed refreshments to be served from inside the building. The building's interior has been renovated and except for some door and window surrounds, retains little surviving historic fabric. Significance: Built in 1927, the Marley Neck School is significant as an example of a Rosenwald School and as such is affiliated with what is considered the most important advance in African-American education in the southern states prior to desegregation. Rosenwald Schools were constructed with financial and technical assistance provided by the Julius Rosenwald Fund which was a private foundation named for the Chicago entrepreneur who directed the booming growth of Sears, Roebuck & Company in the early 20th century. Between 1917 and 1932, the Julius Rosenwald Fund helped erect 5,357 schools for African-American students in the rural south. Rosenwald Schools were built according to plans provided or approved by the Julius Rosenwald Fund. These state-of-the-art plans were cost-efficient and embodied the latest educational design theories. In Maryland, 292 were constructed with 23 built in Anne Arundel County. Marley Neck is one of 10 Rosenwald Schools to survive in Anne Arundel County, and is part of a Multiple Property Nomination titled "Rosenwald Schools in Anne Arundel County (1921-1932)."

 

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