National Park Service Awards Benedict College $500K Grant for Preserving Pratt Hall
Benedict College Receives Second Historic Preservation Grant
[UNCF-member institution] Benedict College was recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the Historic Preservation fund program administered by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The U.S. Congress appropriates funding through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and grants are awarded to historically black colleges and universities to support the physical preservation of historic buildings. The HPF grant is directed to support the Benedict College Pratt Hall Preservation Project. Pratt Hall is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
“We are grateful and excited to have an opportunity to restore Pratt Hall, a building purposed over 100 years ago to serve the health needs of the community, while at the same time, educating and empowering African American health professionals in our state,” said Benedict College President and CEO, Dr. Roslyn C. Artis. “The preservation of Pratt Hall underscores the legacy of education and service to the community that continues today to fortify Benedict College.”
Pratt Hall, built in 1902, is the Benedict College’s second oldest building and is one of five structures located in the Benedict College Historic District. The Pratt Training School for Nurses provided a three-year course of study to educate students while also providing services to the community. The small hospital opened with 12 rooms and 20 beds, met the needs of the students and patients from the surrounding African American community. Albeit a small facility, major and minor surgeries were performed at Pratt Hall. In 1927, the facility was renovated and converted into a girl’s dormitory. Since its last renovation in 1996, Pratt Hall has housed administrative offices and is currently home to the Division of Business and Finance.
“We are extremely grateful to the National Park Service Historic Preservation Program and the Department of Interior for their continued investment in Benedict College’s Historic District. Pratt Hall previously served as an essential educational training center for nurses and was led by Dr. Matilda A. Evans, the first licensed African American female doctor in the state of South Carolina and the first woman doctor in the city of Columbia. This building is a treasure with a powerful story that must be preserved for future generations.” stated Leandra Burgess, vice president for institutional advancement.