The David T. Howard Building opened in 1923 as an elementary school on property donated by its namesake, a former slave who founded Atlanta’s first black-owned bank.
In 1948, the sprawling brick building became a high school where some of the city’s high-profile African-American leaders were educated.
It closed in 1976.
This summer, more than four decades after its last students roamed the hallways, Atlanta Public Schools plans to begin a $52 million renovation and construction project to reopen the building as a middle school.
Future Atlanta students will be part of a long legacy of leaders who attended the school, including these eight prominent former students:
1. Maynard Jackson, first African-American mayor of Atlanta
2. Walt “Clyde” Frazier, NBA star and basketball hall of famer
3. Eldrin Bell, former Atlanta police chief and Clayton County Commission chairman
4. Mildred McDaniel Singleton, a high jumper and the only U.S. woman to win a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in track and field
5. Lonnie King, student civil rights organizer who helped launch the Atlanta Student Movement
6. Vernon Jordan, adviser to President Bill Clinton and former president of the National Urban League
7. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader
8. Herman Russell, real estate entrepreneur and first black member of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
For more on the Howard school renovation project, read the full story here on MyAJC.com.