The history of the old Dunbar High School is being preserved and highlighted in a series of murals that were unveiled Monday at the Dunbar Community Center on North Upper Street.
The community center was the original Dunbar High School, a segregated school which opened in 1923 and operated until Fayette County schools integrated in 1967.
In 1965, school officials agreed that the next high school opened in Fayette County would bear Dunbar’s name, and the current Paul Laurence Dunbar High School opened in 1990.
For the mural project, members of Lexington Youth Arts Council and the current Paul Laurence Dunbar High School history club interviewed members of the Dunbar class of 1966 at their 50th reunion, last year. The most talked about memories, educators and administrators were featured in 15 murals by Lexington artist Christine Kuhn. Among the people highlighted were all three of the school’s principals — William Henry Fouse, P.L. Guthrie and Clara Wendell Stitt — legendary basketball coach Stanford T. Roach and the school’s namesake, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.
“As I was admiring these beautiful murals and the educators, administrators and memories they represent, it was almost as if I could hear the voices and laughter of those who had such a significant impact on the lives of the original Dunbar High School students,” LexArts president and CEO Nan Plummer said in an email.