The Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum is a state historic site that actively owns and interprets the legacy of a former African American school that was in operation from 1902-1971. The Museum is North Carolina’s first and only official State Historic Site to honor an African American and a woman. The site is the former Palmer Memorial Institute, an African American preparatory school established by Charlotte Hawkins Brown. The historic site opened to the public in 1987 and has as its mission to preserve and interpret the history and cultural legacy of Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Palmer Memorial Institute, and African American education. Visitors can explore and learn about a unique environment where many African American boys and girls lived and learned during the greater part of the 20th Century.
The sprawling modern campus buildings includes buildings built from the 1920s-1960s. Several of the properties are available for public rental space. Kimball Hall, Palmer Memorial Institute's historic dining hall, was renovated in 2010-2011. It is now available for conference, seminar, and special event rental, Sunday - Saturday, 9 AM to 9 PM. The main room seats up to 300 for a banquet or 350 for auditorium style seating.
Recent renovations to the building have provided modern amenities without losing the look and feel of a 1920s building. The facility has a catering sized kitchen and access to modern AV equipment. An AV system with a drop-down 13 foot screen - accommodating DVD and computer Power Point additions - are part of the updated amenities. A piano and lectern plus tables and chairs are also available. The entire building is handicap accessible, including bathrooms with handicap stalls. The rates of rental vary depending on time requirement and group affiliation (as the museum is a non-profit, non-profits receive rentals at a discounted rate).
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