Cadentown Rosenwald School, Caden Lane, Lexington, Fayette County, KY
Significance: Cadentown was one of approximately twenty-five African-American hamlets formed in Fayette County, Kentucky, after the Civil War. Former slaves purchased lots from developers such as Owen Caden to create their own communities. These rural hamlets were situated near the large farms on which many of the residents labored. Cadentown's development began in 1867, and by the late 1870s every lot in the community had been sold. Two churches were soon organized in Cadentown. Julius Rosenwald, who became president of Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1909, organized the philanthropic Julius Rosenwald Fund. This organization donated matching funds for the construction of rural model schools for African-Americans beginning in 1917. Matching funds from the community could include cash and in-kind labor or materials. The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama (now Tuskegee University) prepared plans for the earliest Rosenwald buildings. In 1920, control of the school building program shifted to the new Rosenwald Foundation office in Nashville, where director S.L. Smith drew up most of the new schoolhouse designs. Smith made careful use of natural light, providing separate designs for buildings that faced north-south and buildings that faced east-west. School designs ranged in size from one to seven teachers, and there were also plans for privies, industrial buildings, and teacher's cottages. The Rosenwald Fund helped construct 4,977 schools, 155 of which were located in Kentcuky. The Cadentown Rosenwald School was constructed in 1922 and 1923, following the one teacher north-south plan, at a cost of $3,000, $500 of which was contributed by the Rosenwald Fund. The Cadentown Rosenwald School continued in its educational capacity until 1947, and Rosenwald's philanthropic effort continued until his death in 1932.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N981
Survey number: HABS KY-288
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 06000213