Edward U. Taylor School

About the Project

The Edward U. Taylor Elementary School is under evaluation for designation to the County’s Master Plan for Historic Designation.

The recommendation to study the school was brought forward in the MARC Rail Communities Plan, which was approved by the County Council in April 2019. The plan recommended strategies to protect and enhance the historic rural character and resources in Boyds and Germantown.

Historic Preservation staff is in the process of evaluating the historic and architectural significance of the property in order to determine whether it meets criteria for historic designation outlined in §24A-3 of the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Ordinance. The evaluation process involves close collaboration with Montgomery County Public Schools, review of existing documentation, and new research into the school.  At the conclusion of the evaluation process, the Historic Preservation Commission will conduct a worksession and public hearing to determine whether to recommend that the property be designated.

Historic and Architectural Significance

The former Edward U. Taylor School is located at 19501 White Ground Road, approximately one mile to the southwest of Boyds. The building currently serves as the Taylor Science Center for the processing and storage of science kits for Montgomery County Public Schools. The Modern Movement-influenced building was completed in 1952, and features several additions built between 1954 and 1969.

The Taylor School was built as an elementary school for African American students at a time when Montgomery County used legally sanctioned racial segregation to prohibit African American children from attending white schools. The facility was built to modern school design standards and represents the cumulative efforts of the county’s African American community to obtain better facilities and opportunities after decades of public underinvestment in educational facilities for African American children.

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine, forcing Montgomery County Public Schools to end its system of racial segregation. The Taylor School was one of the last county schools to desegregate, in 1961, and was the only African American elementary school to retain its original function.

As a hallmark of the era of de jure racial segregation, the Taylor School captures the struggle and perseverance of the County’s African American communities as they fought for equal rights during the segregation and integration of the public school system.

Timeline and Ways to Get Involved

Details of the public hearing process and opportunities for public comment will be posted here once available.

 

Last Updated: February 26, 2020