National Park Service gives HBCU grant to Morris Brown College for Fountain Hall restoration project
Morris Brown College announced its latest award from the National Park Service (NPS) Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant Program. The grant $500,000 will be used to start the windows restoration process for historic Fountain (Stone) Hall, including two beautiful stained glass windows honoring Atlanta University’s Founder Reverend E. A. Ware and his wife Jane Twichwell Ware.
“We will need the Fountain Hall for classrooms and academic services as we work toward full restoration,” said Kevin James, president of Morris Brown College. “We will continue our goal of fully restoring Fountain Hall.”
Stone Hall is the third oldest building on the Atlanta University campus built in 1882, and it was the home of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois’ office where he looked through the windows toward downtown Atlanta as he penned “The Souls of Black Folk (1903).” Du Bois also wrote “A Litany of Atlanta” (October, 1906) immediately following the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre, which will commemorate the 115th Remembrance September 22-25, 2021.
Dr. R. Candy Tate, author of the grant and chair of the Hallowed Grounds Committee of the Atlanta Branch of ASALH, shares, “The stained-glass windows gracing the Dr. Viola J. Hill Chapel area of Fountain Hall were a gift of an alumni class, and we look forward to being able to ‘have chapel’ services again, show films, and host lectures with the community in the space where Du Bois assembled leaders annually from 1896 – 1914, as he worked to find solutions at the Atlanta Conference of Negro Problems.”
Morris Brown College, the Friends of Fountain Hall, and the Atlanta Branch of ASALH will leverage the NPS HBCU grant to attract matching donations from the larger corporate community for a full accreditation campaign and the full window treatment.
The Strong Tower Campaign, designed to match the NPS grant, will launch on Labor Day, Monday, September 6, 2021 at 2 p.m. on Founders’ Plaza of Morris Brown College as part of the Rev. Dr. Chuck Mason Annual Picnic for the community. We will strike the bell in Morris Brown’s iconic tower to mark this phase of restoration.
Atlanta is invited to enjoy food, live music, and fellowship in an outdoor atmosphere following city COVID-19 protocols. To donate to Morris Brown College, visit www.morrisbrown.edu. The event will end at 7 p.m. The Strong Tower Campaign will run through the end of Black History Month on February 28, 2022. Fundraising for the total restoration, estimated at $30M, is ongoing.