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Monroe Elementary School, 1515 Monroe Street, Topeka, Shawnee County, KS



Data Pages


Drawings


Item Title


Location
1515 Monroe Street, Topeka, KS

Find maps of Topeka, KS


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS KS-67
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N75).
Building/structure dates: 1926 initial construction
National Register Number: 87001283
Significance: The Monroe School is one of two elementary schools in Topeka, Kansas that is associated with the landmark Oliver Brown et. al. v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court decision on 1954. The Brown decision overturned the authority of the Plessy v. Ferguson case (1896), which provided a legal justification for segregation with its famous doctrine of "separate but equal." Many have also argued that the Brown decision was the impetus behind the modern Civil Rights Movement because it gave blacks a legal framework to begin challenging the structure of institutional discrimination. Monroe Elementary School was designed by Thomas Williamson, a local architect. Williamson was extremely prolific, producing hundreds of buildings in Topeka and throughout the state from 1912 to the 1960s. He is best known in this area for his design of Topeka High School. Although vacant today, the Monroe School stands as an icon of African-American organizational abilities and of community activity; it is a reminder of the premium that black citizens have long put on education; and it is a testament to the racial climate of Topeka which stands in contrast to those communities of the Jim Crow South that were also a part of the Brown decision.

Subjects
Education
Segregation
African Americans


Related Names
Brown Vs. Board Of Education
Williamson, Thomas W.
Heath, Sarah, Historian
Hopkins, Denise A., Delineator
Fenton, Scotney, Delineator
Hurley, David Wayne, Delineator
Smith, Roland P., Delineator


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

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