South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Immanuel School, Aiken County (120 York St. NE, Aiken)
S1081770203701 S1081770203702 S1081770203703 S1081770203704 S1081770203705
Facade Right Oblique Right Elevation Interior
Classroom and
Transom
Interior
Platform/Stage
S1081770203706 S1081770203707 S1081770203708 S1081770203709 S1081770203710
Facade
Prior to
Rehabilitation
Right Rear
Oblique
Prior to
Rehabilitation
Left Rear
Oblique
Prior to
Rehabilitation
Concrete Block
Outbuilding
Prior to
Rehabilitation
FacadeDuring
Rehabilitation
ca. 2007
S1081770203711 S1081770203712 S1081770203713 S1081770203714 S1081770203715
FacadeDuring
Rehabilitation
ca. 2007
Right ObliqueDuring
Rehabilitation
ca. 2007
Right ObliqueDuring
Rehabilitation
ca. 2007
Right ObliqueDuring
Rehabilitation
ca. 2007
Right ObliqueDuring
Rehabilitation
ca. 2007
S1081770203716 S1081770203717      
Concrete Block
Outbuilding
During
Rehabilitation
ca. 2007
Right Oblique
ca. 1890

The Immanuel School, built in 1889-1890, is significant for its association with the parochial education of black children in Aiken and surrounding South Carolina counties from 1890 until it closed in 1932, and as a particularly rare, sophisticated, and intact example of Late Victorian vernacular school architecture as built for African-American schoolchildren in the late nineteenth century South. Immanuel School is particularly significant as a privately-funded African-American school. The school was founded shortly after the end of Reconstruction by Reverend William R. Coles, who came to Aiken under the authority of the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. Peak enrollment reached 300 in 1906 with 50 of the students being boarders. The curriculum included academic, normal, and industrial instructions, as well as the arts and music. In 1914, it was called the Andrew Robertson School until it closed during the Depression in 1932. The National Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. was forced to discontinue financial support of many day schools. The Immanuel School was one of 35 black parochial schools closed in the South. During the next decade the school was transformed into the Lincoln Theatre, a theatre for Aikenís black community during segregation. In 1942 the Redemptionist Fathers of South Carolina purchased the property and opened the St. Gerardís Catholic School for African-American children. This privately funded school closed in 1964. During the next forty years, the building housed an auto parts store, a furniture store, and a Salvation Army Thrift Store. Aiken Corporation purchased the property in 2004 with plans to create a new Center for African American History, Art and Culture. Listed in the National Register June 3, 2009.

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