Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 2, 1974):
Completed in 1857 as a Baptist men's college, Swayne Hall was purchased in 1867 by the American Missionary Association with the assistance of the Freedmen's Bureau. Originally constructed with slave labor, in the post-Civil War era the building became part of Talledega College, which served African-Americans. Talledega College is significant because it is one of the few Negro colleges that pursued a strong liberal arts program during a period when vocationalism dominated Black education. Well into the 20th century, Talledega was the only institution in Alabama equipped to offer Blacks a true undergraduate education.