Institute for Colored Youth

716-718 Lombard St.

The Institute for Colored Youth was founded in 1837 by Richard Humphreys, a Quaker philanthropist. Humphreys bequeathed $10,000 to design and establish a school to educate people of African descent. For several years, the school experimented with agricultural and industrial education, as well as trade apprenticeships for African-American children. Around 1851, the managers of the school decided to focus on Humphreys' wish to train African-American children to become teachers. In 1852, they opened the first Institute for Colored Youth building at this Philadelphia location, 716-718 Lombard Street. By 1861, the school needed a better facility for their growing population and the surrounding neighborhood was also seen as becoming a bit seedy. After an extensive fundraising campaign, the school's managers purchased a lot at 915 Bainbridge Street. The new Institute for Colored Youth building opened on March 9, 1866.