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New columns for
C.S. Brown Auditorium


The C.S. Brown Auditorium, built in 1926, desperately needs new columns to support its portico.  Chowan Discovery recently had two of the four Tuscan-style columns replaced.  When the second old column was removed,the crumbling, rotted wood

was more evident (see photo to the right).  The two new columns will forestall the danger of collapse.


The Marion Stedman Covington Foundation granted Chowan Discovery the $18,000 needed for the purchase and replacement of the first two columns.  Now, we need another $18-19,000 to finish, so Chowan Discovery is jointly raising the funds with the Auditorium’s owner, the C.S. Brown Regional Cultural Arts Center and Museum.

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The construction company of Vernon Kee (right, CSB '63) replaced the first two columns.
C.S. Brown Auditorium is one of the largest of the 5300+ Rosenwald school buildings.  As a school building, it had six-classrooms, two offices and served as the auditorium for C.S. Brown School from 1926 to the 1970s.  During its construction, farmers donated their time, wagons and mules to haul building materials – perhaps even the original columns – from the train station in Cofield to Winton.  

The contractor for the column replacement project was VKC Construction of Murfreesboro, NC, which is led by Vernon Kee (C.S. Brown High School, 1963). Mr. Kee was also the restorer of the Auditorium is 1986. The Auditorium was then converted for community service.  

Since then, the C.S. Brown Regional Cultural Arts Center and Museum, the Auditorium’s owner, hosts community events such as performances (including plays about Katie M. Hart and local conjure doctor Jim Jordan), receptions, public programs, weddings, memorial services and reunions.  Three of the classrooms display school and local history, and one of the offices is a gallery of Liberian art, perhaps the only African art display in eastern North Carolina.  While most Rosenwald school buildings are abandoned or demolished, the C.S. Brown Auditorium continues to provide for the community.

In addition, the Auditorium is on the National Register of Historic Places.

To make a tax-deductible donation, select the DONATE button or mail your donation to:

Chowan Discovery Group

5203 14th Street NW

Washington, DC 20011-6929


Thank you!

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I am relieved to be able to
lean on a sturdy new column.
  Carol Joice
inspects a
new column.
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