Historical Council Approves Former Cape May School To Join County Library System | Local News


The old Franklin Street School in Cape May was used to teach black children during segregation.

Town of Cape May, provided

Black cemeteries are scattered across the United States, telling the story of the country’s deep past with segregation in cemeteries. As these cemeteries for the dead reflected the racial divisions of the living, black communities organized themselves to defend the dignity of their dead and to oppose racist cemetery policies.

CAPE MAY – The New Jersey Historic Sites Council on Thursday approved the restoration and reallocation of the former Franklin Street School as part of the Cape May County Library System.

Mayor Zack Mullock, City Councilor Lorraine Baldwin and Deputy City Manager Louis Belasco represented the city alongside County Commissioner E. Marie Hayes, County Library Director Andrea Orsini and Ocean City Councilor Robert Barr as architect Michael Calafati presented the plans for the building to the historical council.

Support local journalism

Your subscription makes our report possible.


The city owns the old school, on which the Center for Community Arts has held an emphyteutic lease since the 1990s. The organization has spent decades working to restore the building. Dating from 1927, it served as a school for black children until New Jersey ended segregation in 1949, and the building has not been used consistently since then.

The building will enhance the city’s plan for a “Museum Row” and downtown arts and culture district, as well as recognize and preserve the history of segregation in the United States while celebrating the Afro-American community. American city, according to a press release from the city.

Jim Cheney and David Mackenzie, members of the Cape May Community Arts Center, briefed the Historical Council on the importance of the project and how the building will allow them to enhance their multicultural educational programs, the statement said.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.