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Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, KS

National Park Service

The story of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal segregation in public schools, is one of hope and courage. When the people agreed to be plaintiffs in the case, they never knew they would change...[more]

Interior entrance of site with
Interior View of Entrance

Welcome to Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. As you walk through the exhibits and hallways, imagine what it would be like if you saw these signs today. How would you feel as a "white" person? Would you feel different as a "colored" person?

Courtesy of Brent DeShazer

Let Justice Flow Like Water Exhibit
Let Justice Flow Like Water Exhibit

Courtesy of Brent DeShazer

Race and the American Creed in the auditorium
Race and the American Creed

On seven large screens, the award-winning film Race and the American Creed appears daily on the hour and half-hour. This 30-minute film explores events in history which led up to the Brown v. Board of Education case.

Exterior view of the building with the sign.
Exterior View with Sign

Rehabilitated to its 1954 appearance, the former Monroe School was one of four African American schools in Topeka. There were 18 school for white students.

Interior View of Hallway
Interior View of Hallway

Approximately $11 million was needed to rehabilitate the former Monroe School into its current usage as Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. Windows were re-used; ceilings and walls were re-plastered; bricks were re-pointed; historic fixtures were re-created; and the terrazzo floors were re-finished to a high sheen.

Education-The Path to Freedom exhibit with images of people.
Education - The Path to Freedom Exhibit

Courtesy of Brent DeShazer

The Five Lawsuits Exhibit
The Five Lawsuits Exhibit

The five cases consolidated as Brown v. Board of Education were deliberately drawn from different areas of the country. Emphasis on the South would have introduced political complications to an already complex case. Topeka, Kansas was chosen as the lead case for the same reason. African American schools in Topeka were essentially equal to the white schools, so segregation itself, not equlaity, would be the issue in the question.

Hall of Courage Exhibit
Hall of Courage Exhibit

Experience for yourself the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement as you walk through the "Hall of Courage" with people yelling and dogs barking, while seeing images of historic events: people being sprayed with water hoses, walking though a crowd of protesters at Central High School, and sitting at a lunch counter having drinks poured on their heads.

Courtesy of Brent DeShazer

The Struggle Continues Exhibit
The Struggle Continues Exhibit

Courtesy of Brent DeShazer

Exterior View at Night
Exterior View at Night

The site's hours of operation are daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed all Federal Holidays except Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Many visitors will never see how impressive the site is at night with all the lights on highlighting it.

Exterior View of Front Entrance
Exterior View of Front Entrance

On May 4, 1987, Monroe Elementary School achieved National Historic Landmark designation for its significance to the Brown v. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court case. On October 26, 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site Act of 1992, establishing the school as a national park.

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Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

Address

1515 SE Monroe Street
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone:(785) 354 4273
Email:BRVB_Interp_Ranger@nps.gov

Directions

The site is located in downtown Topeka, Kansas at 1515 SE Monroe Street. From the east (Missouri) From I-70 westbound, take right Exit 362C, 10th Street. Turn left onto 10th Street. At the next intersection, turn left onto Monroe Street. Turn left onto 17th Street, and then turn left to enter the visitor parking lot. From the west (Colorado) From I-70 eastbound, take right Exit 362B, 8th Street. This exit merges with Monroe Street. Stay on Monroe Street, and then turn left onto 17th Street. Turn left to enter the visitor parking lot. From the south (Oklahoma) From I-335 northbound, take right Exit 177, South Topeka. This exit will lead to a toll booth. Immediately after the toll booth, take right Exit 6, Topeka Boulevard. Turn left onto Topeka Boulevard. Stay on Topeka Boulevard and then turn right onto 17th Street. Turn left to enter the visitor parking lot.

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