Central Piedmont Archives Opens ‘Parallel Lives’ Exhibition
The Central Piedmont Community College Archives department has opened an exhibition of local interest: “Parallel Lives – Central High School and Second Ward High School.”
The exhibition highlights the centennial history of Charlotte’s Central High School and Second Ward High School (both opened in 1923), celebrates the memories of their alumni, and seeks to raise awareness of the importance of historical preservation.
Central High and Second Ward High were built to meet the growing secondary education needs of Charlotte in the early 20th century. The schools were segregated; Second Ward serving Black students and Central High serving white students. With Central High located on Elizabeth Avenue and Second Ward High on Alexander Street, the schools were within walking distance, and yet, their students had separate high school experiences. In 1957, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools began integrating high schools.
One hundred years after building and opening the schools, the Central High facility remains standing as part of Central Piedmont’s Central Campus. The gymnasium and a historical plaque are all that remain of Second Ward High.
The “Parallel Lives – Central High School and Second Ward High School,” exhibition is open to the public through May 8, in the Archives section of the Hagemeyer Library, located in the Parr Center, on Central Campus, with nearby visitor parking available in Lot 5, located at 230 N. Kings Drive.
You may also review an online version of the exhibition.