Lincoln Hall, Berea College

lincoln hall, berea college photo


101 Chestnut St.
Berea KY

Berea college was started as a one-room school by abolitionist Rev. John G. Fee. In the 1860's the school became a college, educating African American and white students together. It was the first college in the southern United States to offer biracial education. In the years following the Civil War, classes included relatively even numbers of students from both races. But in 1904, the state legislature passed the "Day Law"  mandating segregated education in Kentucky. As a result, the college helped to fund the establishment of Lincoln Institute near Louisville to educate African American students.

Lincoln Hall is the oldest building on the Berea College campus. Built in 1886, it has served as the home of the college's administrative offices since 1914. In 1975, it was included on the National Register of Historic Places.  In 1950, after the Day Law was overturned, Berea was the first Kentucky school of higher education to reopen its doors to African American students. In later years during the Civil Rights era, Lincoln Hall was the site of a student demonstration seeking fair treatment for students who had been arrested while protesting civil rights related issues on campus.