The Agricultural Building of the Berry O'Kelly School is in the Method community, a reconstruction-era village founded by former slave Jesse Mason. As the name suggests, the school was founded by Berry O'Kelly, a nineteenth-century merchant, civic leader, philanthropist, and proponent of practical education for African American youth. Small one-room schools existed in Method in the early 1870s; in 1895 a new school was built on a site that would later become the Berry O'Kelly High School campus. The campus eventually grew to include eight buildings.

The Agricultural Building was part of an expansion that also included a girls' dormitory with dining facilities and a general classroom building. The Agricultural Building had fully-equipped shops, an agriculture laboratory, home economics rooms, and a poultry incubation room. Berry O'Kelly students included Method locals and others from throughout Wake County. Today the Agricultural Building is the only structure that remains of the school complex. It serves as a community center at Method Park. 

Photo by Michael Zirkle Photography
© Raleigh Historic Development Commission

514 Method Road
Simple Institutional



Local/National Designations
Raleigh Historic Landmark


This entry is about Historic Resources in Raleigh. Initial information provided by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission. You can find more entries about Raleigh's historic resources here