The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Morgan State University a National Treasure on Tuesday, a designation given to only one other historically black college in the country.
The designation will mean Morgan and the National Trust will partner to develop a road map for preserving the university's historic buildings, which mostly are a mix of Collegiate Revival and Brutalist architectural styles.
That road map will later be used as a template for preserving historic buildings on historically black college campuses across the country, said Dale Green, a professor of architecture and historic preservation at Morgan who is working with the National Trust.
"They have significant rich legacies that most people are unaware of," Green said. "They're more than black schools. ... They are the only institutions that never barred other races. They very much reflect the American story."
Morgan was founded in 1867 and settled on its Northeast Baltimore campus in 1917. The 20 structures included in the designation are Classical, Italianate and Modern styles, as well as Collegiate Revival and Brutalist.
Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said the National Trust wanted to highlight the importance of historically black colleges. Howard University in Washington is the only other historically black college or university with the designation.
"We are proud to partner with Morgan State University — a nationally recognized innovator and education leader — to demonstrate how the preservation of their remarkable older buildings can be a springboard for growth, rejuvenation and revitalization," Meeks said.
The designation will include a $110,000 grant from the National Trust to develop the preservation road map, Green said.
The oldest building on campus is the Carnegie Building, named for the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who gave the school a conditional grant of $50,000 in 1915 to relocate its campus from Virginia. It is an example of the Collegiate Revival style of architecture, according to Green, which is also seen at other area universities, including Loyola University Maryland.
Morgan's University Chapel was previously designated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.