Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation
Ridgeley Rosenwald School

History

Ridgeley School was opened in 1927 as Colored School No.1 in Election District 13. The small school was located in central Prince George’s County in the African American community of Ridgely*. A recipient of a Rosenwald Fund grant, the school was one of nearly 5,000 Rosenwald schools built in the south for African American children. The foundation provided seed money for the schools, and the local African American community provided the rest with tax revenue, cash, and in-kind donations. Along with a nearby church and society hall, also named Ridgely, the school was one of the focal points of the community until it was closed in 1954. Ridgeley was then used as a special education center and as administrative offices. Having remained largely intact, the Ridgeley School is one of the best examples of a Rosenwald school in Prince George’s County. The building originally consisted of two large classrooms (each of which served at least three grades), a central passageway; and an entrance flanked by two cloakrooms. A third classroom was added by the 1950s. Of 27 Rosenwald schools built in Prince George’s County, the Ridgeley School is one of nine that remains. Newly restored, the school has retained many of its original design elements.

*The spelling of Ridgeley varies.