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Phoenix School Built For African-Americans Gains Historic Landmark Status

(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
The historic designation is designed to protect the building from possible future demolition.

The only high school in Arizona built specifically for African-Americans has been added to the Phoenix Historic Property Register. Council members approved the designation for the former George Washington Carver High School based on its age, architectural style and story.

When Arizona became a state in 1912, segregated elementary schools were the law but not high schools.

According to a city report, an increase in anti-African-American sentiment after World War I led to the separation of black and white high-school students.

Named after the scientist and educator Dr. George Washington Carver, the school at the southeast corner of Fourth and Grant streets opened in 1926.

In the late 1940s, groups started fighting racial inequality, and in 1954, a Maricopa County judge ruled elementary-school segregation was unconstitutional. 

Today, the building is home to the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.

The historic designation is designed to protect it from possible demolition. Listed properties are also eligible to receive city incentives to help with rehabilitation.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.