Maggie Walker High School
Sadler & Whitehead was first hired by Richmond’s Governor’s School for Government and International Studies to complete the research and documentation necessary to list the abandoned 1937 Maggie L Walker High School in the Virginia Landmarks Register and in the National Register of Historic Places. Once this goal was achieved, the property could be rehabilitated and put back in service as a regional school for gifted high school students, using tax credits to offset the high cost of renovations. Sadler & Whitehead provided historic preservation service to the project team throughout the course of the project. At certain points in the project—when masonry-cleaning strategies were being studied and window-restoration approaches were being selected—the team assembled at the site with staff from the Department of Historic Resources to get recommendations from those reviewing the tax credit applications. The result was a successful rehabilitation and a model use of investment tax credit to fund a critical effort undertaken by a not-for-profit education foundation.
"The building was renovated for the Governor’s School for Government and International Studies through a partnership of public and private entities. Along with Petersburg High School (another of Sadler & Whitehead’s historic preservation efforts), this project is an exemplar for funding and developing regional magnet schools. The cost of the project is borne by three sources: one-third by participating school districts, one-third by private contributions, and one-third by preservation tax credits.
"The constraints of state and federal tax credit programs created clear directives for the architects, who gathered the project team many times to flesh out solutions for installing HVAC and other systems in ways that would not drastically alter the original building. Additions, confined to the rear elevation, had to be compatible with the historic building, but clearly differentiated. Materials and details used in the new commons area -dark brick, glass block, steel lintels, and diamond-shaped tile- are found throughout the building wherever the architects altered or expanded the existing building to create new facilities."
Excerpts from Mary Harding Sadler, Renewed Legacy, inform (2002: 1, pps
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Maggie Walker High School before rehabilitation
Rehabilitation of Maggie Walker High School
Mary Harding Sadler
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Mary Harding Sadler