The Baltimore Experience African American Heritage Public School 103
The Legacy Continues
Preserving Thurgood Marshall’s Elementary School
In 2008, the City of Baltimore embarked on a project to rehabilitate Public School 103 (PS 103), also known as the Henry Highland Garnet School. PS103, a landmark in the Upton community of West Baltimore, is significant to the nation for its role in the education of Thurgood Marshall, one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century. Marshall is known for his leadership in the desegregation of the nation’s public school system, as well as for his service as the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
In recognition of the importance of this history, the City of Baltimore established the Mayor’s Commission on Former PS103 to chart a course for the future of the school building. The PS103 Commission, with assistance from the Baltimore National Heritage Area, began working toward the development of an interpretive facility that could contribute to education and heritage tourism in the City. The PS103 Commission oversaw the development of a long-range plan for PS103 comprised of three interrelated studies undertaken to guide rehabilitation and interpretation of the historic property.
With the support and guidance of the city’s Department of General Services, the building at 1315 Division Street has been stabilized. Months of work have cleared the school of debris, invasive vegetation, and lead-based paint.
In 2013, the Commission met with staff of the National Park Service to discuss next steps for PS 103, including the possibility of designating the school as a National Historic Landmark.