Mahood & Associates
Wiley H. Bates High School
1029, Smithville Street, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County
This school complex was begun in the early 1930s. The first portion was completed in 1932, and replaced the original Annapolis Colored High School which had been located in the Stanton School on West Washington Street. The original portion of the building is a flat roofed, two-story building of brick and masonry bearing walls and wood frame floor and roof structure. A center, double-loaded corridor runs north-south the entire length of the building with classrooms, lavatories, and stairs on the western side, and classrooms, library, offices, and a two-story auditorium on the eastern side. The second-floor corridor opened to the two-story auditorium space as a gallery. First-floor classrooms were added to both the north and south in 1937, and second-floor classrooms were added in 1945. The major architectural treatment is reserved for the auditorium section which is embellished with three segmentally arched windows, a low cast stone belt course, and a pattern of pilasters and panels; the remainder of the building facade is relieved with cast stone belt courses and ganged double hung windows. The resource achieved its current configuration in 1950, when additional teaching facilities were added. The most recent portion of the building is also of masonry construction, and is completed in a simplified International or Modern style. The entire building complex continued in use until 1981.
The Wiley H. Bates High School is of exceptional significance in the history of the development of public education for African Americans in Anne Arundel County. From the time the school was built in 1932 until 1966 when the Anne Arundel County public school system was finally desegregated, the Wiley H. Bates High School was the only public school in the county which African-American students could attend for a secondary level education. The 1932 building was expanded in 1937, 1945, and 1950 to accommodate increasing enrollment. In each building campaign, facilities which equaled or exceeded those available to white students were provided. These expansions and remodelings represent the response of the county to the "separate but equal" doctrine which was applied to public facilities in the first half of the 20th century.