The Andrew B. Murray Vocational School is historically significant as a representative example of school architecture in South Carolina. It is exceptional in that the site contains not only South Carolina’s first vocational school, but also a caretaker’s house and a gymnasium/shop. The complex exemplifies the importance placed on practical education in the first half of the twentieth century. As the white vocational school, the school also stands as an example of the segregated public school system in South Carolina in the years before the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. As a boys’ school that became coed in the mid 1930s, with differing curriculum for the different genders, it illustrates differences in the teaching of boys and girls at public schools in South Carolina. The Andrew B. Murray Vocational School, built in 1922 and opened in 1923, was designed in the Neo-Classical style by Charleston architect David B. Hyer. The school is a three-story U-shaped building covered with smooth stucco and with limestone detailing. The caretaker’s house (ca. 1922) is a small two-story brick residence set back from the street. Laid in stretcher (running) bond, the structure has a one-story porch running across the three bays of the first floor on the east (front) façade. This is the only remaining example of a school caretaker’s cottage remaining in the city. The two-story rectangular gymnasium/shop was constructed in 1948 of concrete block, faced with brick laid in a five course American bond. Listed in the National Register May 20, 2002.
Andrew B. Murray Vocational School