Planning the Future of the Past at Lincoln University
Read about how the first HBCU in the United States is investing in its future with a plan that helps the university honor the past while addressing contemporary needs
Established in 1853, Lincoln University is the first degree-granting HBCU in the United States and one of three founded prior to the Civil War. In its formative years, 1854 to 1934, Lincoln’s graduates included Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court, and Langston Hughes, the acclaimed poet and writer. During this period, Lincoln also built a campus defined by buildings of historical, cultural and architectural significance—buildings that are now in need of restoration. In 2018, the University selected Sasaki and Preservation Design Partnership to “plan the future of the past”.
Located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Lincoln occupies a campus shaped by academic and residential buildings representative of the architectural styles prevalent from 1850 to 1930 as well as the work of Philadelphia-based architectural firms of the day. In particular, the firm of Sloan and Hutton who designed buildings at Lincoln, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford Colleges.
Today, several of Lincoln’s historic buildings are in a state of disrepair. Reversing this decline is the focus of the President’s strategic initiative to “Tell the Lincoln Story.” By acknowledging the historical significance of the campus and its contributing buildings, the goal is to elevate the regional and national importance of the institution. The master plan supports this goal by providing a stabilization and reuse strategy for the historic buildings while responding to the mission and strategic plan of the university.
Several big ideas inform the recommendations of the plan:
For more information contact Greg Havens.