Thurgood Marshall's School (Public School 103) Special Resource Study
What is a Special Resource Study?
New national park units are typically added to the National Park Service (NPS) by an Act of Congress. Prior to designation, a special resource study is usually conducted on the resource to determine if it meets established criteria for designation as a national park unit.
The purpose of this special resource study is to gather information about P.S 103 related to the early life of Thurgood Marshall through historical research and public input, and then to report these findings to Congress. The special resource study will evaluate the potential for inclusion of the property in the national park system based upon whether it meets established criteria for significance, suitability, feasibility, and the need for NPS management. Please use the "Links" tab on the left to find additional information on the criteria used to evaluate new national parklands.
Applying these criteria consistently helps the National Park Service weigh the relative merits of potential park units and to ensure that only those most deserving of designation are included within the national park system. The special resource study may also weigh other management options.
P.S. 103 was originally built in 1877 for West Baltimore's white immigrant population, but in 1911 it became a segregated African-American school. Thurgood Marshall attended P.S. 103 from 1st through 8th grade, from 1914 to 1921. In adulthood, Marshall became the lead council for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a leading civil rights lawyer, and the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
In March 2019, Congress passed Public Law 116-9, The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. The 2019 Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of P.S. 103 and any other resources in the neighborhood surrounding P.S. 103 that relate to the early life of Thurgood Marshall. Based on this legislated directive, the National Park Service has initiated the process of analyzing the property for its inclusion as a new unit of the national park system. We invite you to participate in this process.
The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. In order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to protect the most vulnerable, including the elderly and people with underlying conditions, the NPS is following guidance from the CDC, state and local health officials, and OPM to cancel or postpone large gatherings (defined as 50 or more people), minimize person-to-person contacts, and reduce non-essential travel. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. As such, virtual (online) meetings will be held to describe this special resource study in more detail and to receive the public's questions about the study process. Please click on the "Meeting Notices" link at left for updated information about these virtual meetings, how to attend, and where to find a recording of the meetings after they are held.
We welcome your participation throughout this process. This website will be updated regularly with information to keep you informed, as well as to request feedback as needed. We hope you will continue to be engaged as we move forward with this special resource study. Thank you for your interest.
National Park Service
As directed by Congress in 2019, the National Park Service is preparing a special resource study of Public School 103 (P.S. 103), the elementary school of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, located at 1315 Division Street, Baltimore, Maryland, and any other resources in the neighborhood surrounding P.S. 103 that relate to the early life of Thurgood Marshall to evaluate their potential for inclusion within the National Park Service system. The National Park Service will use this website to display public information throughout the course of this study. Meeting dates and locations will be posted here, along with the project updates and information about how to submit comments online or via mail.