My goal is to identify schoolhouses Robinson built in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, to locate and obtain permission to use early images of these buildings, to find later photos that represent subsequent uses or expansions of these structures, and to determine whether they are still standing and how they are being used a hundred years after they were built. I will also describe the design elements that were typical in Robinson's schools and I will attempt to explain why Robinson moved to Richmond from Altoona, Pa., where he had successfully worked for more than ten years.
Among the resources I plan to consult are newspapers, school board records, Sanborn maps, historic images, school yearbooks, building permits, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, and David B. Robinson, the architect's great grandson and creator of the website www.charlesmrobinson.com. I plan to consult the local history and special collections in local libraries in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, as well as collections of the Library of Virginia, the Virginia Historical Society, the George Washington Masonic Memorial, George Mason University and the University of Virginia.
|Opening of the Manassas Agricultural School, also known as the Bennett School, in Manassas, c.1909.|
|The former Bennett School in 2011.|