Congressman Clyburn Commends the Allocation of $1 Million in ARRA Funds

Sep 18, 2009

(Washington, DC) – House Majority Whip and Sixth District Congressman James E. Clyburn today commended the U.S. Department of the Interior for allocating $1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to restore Chappelle Auditorium at Allen University in Columbia.   

“I am so pleased that Chappelle Auditorium is included in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s announcement of historic preservation projects on Historically Black College and University campuses,”  Congressman Clyburn said.   “Historic preservation is one of my passions and Chappelle Auditorium has such a rich history.  It was the gathering place for the Black community in Columbia when other public auditoriums didn’t allow African Americans access.”

According to a history on Allen University’s website, Chappelle Auditorium's seating capacity of 700 made it home to countless organizations and community events. The auditorium was the site of the meeting that initiated the efforts led to the landmark case Brown vs. the Board of Education. Nationally known musicians and artists, including Leontyne Price, Brooks Benton and Langston Hughes performed in the auditorium. Other notable appearances include: Mary McCloud Bethune, Reverend Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Reverend Jesse Jackson, George Elmore, John H. McCray and Senator Strom Thurmond.

Chappelle Auditorium is one of many buildings included in the Allen University Historic District, which is bounded by Taylor, Harden, Hampton and Pine Streets. It was designed by John Anderson Langford (1874-1946), who has been heralded as the 'Dean of Black Architects,’  and served as the official architect of the AME Church. The auditorium was named in honor of Bishop William D. Chappelle, an Allen University President. On April 14, 1975, Chappelle Auditorium was recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior and placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

Today’s announcement was made by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who committed $14.25 million for the preservation of 20 structures at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide.  Allen University is the only recipient in South Carolina.  The Department made these funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for projects that will repair and preserve campus buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

“The recovery funds not only will restore historic buildings on these campuses but also will provide a boost to individuals and companies performing the repairs, college communities and related local economies,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said today.

The National Park Service invited all HBCUs to submit grant applications for grants to repair and preserve historic buildings on their campuses. The buildings selected for this apportionment of grant funds were assessed as being the most architecturally and historically significant buildings on these HBCU campuses, and as needing essential repairs to preserve them and make them useable.

These much needed repairs will address issues such as termite and wood rot damage, leaking roofs and water damage, asbestos and lead paint removal, masonry work, electrical rewiring, heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems and achieving accessibility for disabled persons.

The full list of the funding amounts made available to HBCU projects follows.  For additional information regarding HBCU grants programs, contact Linda Hall, National Park Service, Southeast Regional Office at (404) 507-5779.





1.        Alcorn State Univ.
( Alcorn State, MS )

Belles Lettres Hall


2.        Allen University
( Columbia, S.C. )

Chappelle Auditorium


3.        Bennett College
( Greensboro, N.C. )

Ethel Black Hall


4.        Central State Univ.
( Wilberforce, OH )

Emery Hall


5.        Cheyney University
( Cheyney, PA )

Melrose Cottage


6.        Clark Atlanta University
( Atlanta, GA )

Trevor Arnett Hall


7.        Dillard University
( New Orleans, LA )

Camphor/Hartzell Complex


8.        Elizabeth City State University
( Elizabeth City, NC )

Moore Hall


9.        Fisk University
( Nashville, TN )

John Wesley Work House


10.        Florida A&M  Univ.
( Tallahassee, FL )

George M. Sampson Hall


11. Harris Stowe State University
( Saint Louis, MO )

Vashon Community Center


12. Howard University
(  Washington, D.C.  )

Miner Normal School


13. Kentucky State Univ.
( Frankfort, KY )

Old Federal Bldg. and Post Office


14.        Langston University
( Langston, OK )

Cottage Row Historic Dist.


15.        Meharry Medical College
( Nashville, TN )

Hulda Margaret Lyttle Hall


16.        St. Paul’s College
( Lawrenceville, VA )

The Saul Building
Fine Arts Building


17.        Talladega College
( Talladega, AL )

Foster Hall


18.        Tougaloo College
( Tougaloo, MS )

John W. Boddie House


19.        West Virginia State University
( Institute, WV )

African Zion Bapt. Church


20.        Xavier University
( New Orleans, LA )

Administration Building



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