Avery Research Center
Charleston, SC 29424
Hours: Open for Research
Monday - Friday:12:00p to 5:00p
The Avery Normal Institute was Charleston's first free secondary school for African Americans. The school was organized by Reverend R. L. Cardoza at the end of the Civil War in 1865. The estate of Reverend Charles Avery of Pittsburg donated a grant of $10,000 for the school which is named after Mr. Avery. Other financial assistance was received from the Freedman's Bureau, local merchants, and the American Missionary Association of New York City. The construction of the school began in 1867 and was completed in 1868. The school was designed in the Italianate style with arched entry, cupola, and piazzas running the length of the building.
The School operated as a private institution serving Charleston's most prominent free black families. In 1947, the institute became a public city school.
Currently known as the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, the center is part of the College of Charleston and operates as a museum and archives for African American history and culture.