Filed Under African American

Gymnasium of the Berry O'Kelly School

Following Berry O’Kelly’s death in 1931, his namesake school continued to serve the community of Method. As more schools for African Americans were established in the area, its enrollment began to fall. The push toward integration further affected the school’s enrollment (eventually leading to its closure in 1966). Nonetheless, there continued to be advocates for “separate but equal” school facilities for blacks and whites. This was probably a factor leading to construction of the gymnasium as advocates pressed for equalization of facilities in schools serving African Americans. The utilitarian brick building features the clean lines of mid-century modern design, with horizontally-proportioned grids of windows in large openings daylighting the interior spaces. A barrel-arched roof supported by metal bow trusses spans the large gymnasium space, flanked on three sides by one-story wings.

Date: ca. 1950


512 Method Road


RHDC, “Gymnasium of the Berry O'Kelly School,” Raleigh Historic, accessed April 15, 2024,