Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

William R. Allen School

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund
Level II Capital Grant
Grant Award: $190,009 (2000); $746,250 (2019
Grant Recipient: City of Burlington
County: Burlington
Municipality: Burlington

The William R. Allen School illustrates the development of segregation as an educational policy in New Jersey. Quakers established schools for black children in Burlington as early as 1804. The present building, constructed in 1900, occupies the site of the earlier Federal Street School for Colored Children built in 1870. 

Although a State law requiring integration passed in 1881, the southern counties of New Jersey continued to practice segregation by dividing school districts into neighborhoods which were divided along racial lines. The enlargement of the school in 1914 and 1924 illustrates the growth of the black population in Burlington due to increased industrialization and the Great Migration of Southern blacks to northern cities. 

The 2000 Trust grant funded the stabilization and exterior restoration of the school, including barrier-free accessibility to enable the site’s use as an adult day care facility. The 2019 grant helped fund exterior and interior rehabilitation and site improvements to the William R. Allen School to house non-profit community resource organizations and public meeting space. 

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