Lane High School

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Lane High School
Albemarle County Office Building.jpg
Lane High School in its modern incarnation as the Albemarle County Office Building
401 McIntire Road


United States
Color(s)orange and black
Sportsfootball, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, wrestling.
MascotBlack Knight
PublicationBumble Bee (magazine)[citation needed]
NewspaperLane Times[citation needed]
YearbookThe Chain[1]

Lane High School, in Charlottesville, Virginia, was a public secondary school serving residents of Charlottesville and Albemarle County from 1940 until 1974. It was an all-white school until its court-ordered integration in 1959. Black students formerly attended Burley High School.[2] When Lane became too small to accommodate the student body, it was replaced by Charlottesville High School.[3] In 1981, the building was converted for use as the Albemarle County Office Building, for which it has remained in use until the present day.[4]

The structure was designed by Lynchburg, Virginia architect Pendleton Scott Clark.[5] African American homes and African-American Episcopal chapel were removed to make way for the school.[6] It was named after the former teacher and school superintendent James Waller Lane.[5]

Massive resistance[edit]

On September 10, 1958, federal courts ordered public schools in Charlottesville to integrate their racially segregated schools.[7] In response, Virginia Governor James Lindsay Almond, Jr. ordered nine schools in Virginia to close, including Lane, under the authority of a series of state laws known as the Stanley Plan, a part of the state's Massive Resistance policy. The school remained closed from September 19, 1958 until February 4, 1959, when Governor Almond reversed the state's policy and ordered the schools reopened and integrated.[8] During this period, "local residents were subjected to emotional appeals, threats, and predictions of dire consequences representing all points of view concerning segregation." Three African American students enrolled at Lane on September 8, 1959 without incident. Historian John Hammond Moore believes that the process of integrating Lane extended until approximately 1969, writing that it "was characterized by racial friction in some schools, notably Lane, but little actual violence."[9]

Integration era[edit]

In the late 1960s, left-wing students at Lane formed a Student Liberation Union.[10] Issues of Blast, a photocopied radical newspaper, circulated among the student body. It was named after the famous modernist publication, Blast.[11] This joined Lanetime, the mainstream student newspaper. Blast contained mostly anonymous articles on a range of topics, including city politics, national activism, and censorship, and brought the national conversation about race and civil rights to Charlottesville's high school students. In the first issue, an article by "LeRoi" announced, "Just as the oppressor must do in Vietnam, in the Ghetto, in the United States, and here at Lane High, he must allow the oppressed to determine their own destiny. And this is not a request; this is a demand. The blacks will achieve this through Black Power and in the Third World."[12]


Lane High School's football program is legendary in Charlottesville for its football team's 53-game winning streak, from 1962-7 under the coaching of Tommy "The Golden Greek" Theodose.[13][14]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b Provence, Lisa (May 6, 2004). "Brown's birthday: The road to equality in Charlottesville". The Hook. Better Publications, L.L.C. Retrieved October 19, 2008. Now the Albemarle County Office Building, Lane High School, which opened to students in 1940, was Charlottesville's white high school when the Brown v. Board decision was handed down in 1954.
  2. ^ Lassiter, Matthew; Andrew B. Lewis; Paul M. Gaston. The Moderates' Dilemma. University of Virginia Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-8139-1817-4. [T]he city operated Lane High School exclusively for whites and jointly ran the all-black Jackson P. Burley High School with Albemarle County.
  3. ^ "About Walker Upper Elementary". County of Albemarle. Archived from the original on August 2, 2008. Retrieved September 16, 2008. The history of Walker School began with the concept of Junior High Schools in Charlottesville in 1962, when solutions were sought to relieve overcrowding at Lane High School. Those decisions led to the development of plans for two schools, one on each side of town.
  4. ^ "County to Celebrate 25th Year Anniversary of Lane High School Conversion into County Office Buildling [sic]" (Press release). County of Albemarle. October 25, 2006. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved June 21, 2008. In the fall of 1981 divisions of Albemarle County government from six locations scattered around the county and Charlottesville came together for the first time when Lane High School underwent a $6 million conversion to become the new County Office Building.
  5. ^ a b McNair, Dave (November 9, 2006). "Landmark design: County Office Building turns 25". The Hook. Better Publications, LLC. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  6. ^ "A new page: Longtime 10th and Page residents are seeing a shift in the neighborhood - C-VILLE Weekly". C-VILLE Weekly. December 1, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  7. ^ "Charlottesville schools integrated this day in 1959". The Daily Progress. The Daily Progress Staff. September 8, 2017.
  8. ^ "Massive Resistance timeline". Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  9. ^ Moore, John (1976). Albemarle, Jefferson's County, 1727-1976. Albemarle County Historical Society. pp. 434–235.
  10. ^ Jehle, Eberhard (1969). "The SLU Papers". Blast: A Lane Student Publication.
  11. ^ "Blast (from the editor)". Blast: a lane student publication. 1969.
  12. ^ LeRoi (1969). "A problem only seen by the oppressors, and experienced by the blacks of Lane High School". Blast: a Lane Student Publication.
  13. ^ Shampoe, Clay (2005). The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. Arcadia Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-7385-1776-6. Few can forget the amazing stream put together by Charlottesville's Lane High as they tallied 53 straight victories during the 1960s under the guidance of the "Golden Greek," Tommy Theodose.
  14. ^ Goldsmith, Will (September 23, 2008). "When football was king". C-Ville Weekly. Portico Publications. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2008. Tommy "the Golden Greek" Theodose, high school coach from 1959 to 1979, presided over the most memorable streak in the history of the city schools, a 53-game unbeaten streak that went from 1962 to 1967 for Lane High School.
  15. ^ "Play Ball!". (dead link)The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  16. ^ "Staige D. Blackford Jr". Virginian-Pilot. June 29, 2003.

Coordinates: 38°02′04″N 78°29′03″W / 38.03444°N 78.48417°W / 38.03444; -78.48417