Former house of historic Black enterprise faculty in Monroe on Nationwide Register

A vacant concrete constructing in south Monroe is a reminder of a faculty that gave Black college students a uncommon probability to study the talents essential to prosper in enterprise.

Robinson Enterprise School, situated at 604 Jack McEnery Avenue, served as a vocational faculty for Black college students in Ouachita Parish and surrounding areas. The college produced a major variety of Black professionals within the secretarial and enterprise professions between 1946 and 1988.

The faculty represented a breakthrough in skilled academic alternatives for Black professionals in Ouachita Parish. Previous to the college’s opening, Black college students in northern Louisiana searching for academic alternatives past highschool have been restricted to Grambling State College and Southern College in Shreveport.

Robinson Enterprise School, situated at 604 Jack McEnergy Avenue, was added to the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations on April 18, 1997.

The college began within the house of B.D. and Emily Robinson throughout the spring of 1944 with 4 college students. Enrollment elevated, which led to the development in 1946 of the constructing on McEnery Avenue. In September 1946, 12 “common” college students enrolled in addition to 46 veterans because of the G.I. Invoice.

Initially, the college employed two academics. The college had one and two-year applications in applications akin to government secretarial, accounting and bookkeeping, typing, stenography and enterprise administration. By the point the college closed in 1988, the college had grown to seven.

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One facet of the curriculum – emphasised by graduates throughout interviews performed for the constructing’s nomination to the Nationwide Register – was a course on correct deportment and diction, which included tips about the right way to interview effectively. The course was described in a Eighties catalog as “persona growth.” In response to information revealed by the Nationwide Register, graduates referred to the room the place the course was taught because the “allure room.”

The one-story, 4,300-square-foot rectangular constructing is constructed of concrete blocks with brick veneer accents on the façade and one aspect elevation. The constructing has a low pyramidal roof and is devoid of ornamentation. There’s a small shed roof projection on the rear nook which seems on a 1950 Sanborn map. The steel home windows on the aspect elevations and a lot of the rear elevation are unique. Grouped in twos, every window has 4 horizontal panes.

An undated and archived photograph of students at Robinson Business College.

An undated and archived {photograph} of scholars at Robinson Enterprise School.

The inside of the constructing was described as easy and purposeful. The ground plan allowed for varied lecture rooms, a small registrar’s workplace and a protracted, slender administrative workplace. The registrar’s workplace retained its curving counter and two inside home windows. Modifications to the inside included the position of glass doorways within the large opening between the 2 giant lecture rooms on the western finish.

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The constructing was later transformed right into a magnificence salon however now stays vacant. It has been owned by Midwest Administration since June 12, 2017, in keeping with Ouachita Parish Tax Assessor information.

Comply with Ian Robinson on Twitter @_irobinson and on Fb at https://bit.ly/3vln0w1.

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This text initially appeared on Monroe Information-Star: Former Monroe commerce faculty for Black college students on Nationwide Register