Welcome to Penn Center

Tucked in the heart of the South Carolina Sea Islands surrounded by glimmering marshes and nestled beneath the silvery moss-draped limbs of massive live oaks, is Penn Center - the site of the former Penn School, one of the country's first schools for freed slaves. It is one of the most significant African American historical and cultural institutions in existence today. Penn Center is located on St. Helena Island, one of the most beautiful and historically distinct of the South Carolina Sea Islands, and at the heart of Gullah culture. The 50- acre historic campus of Penn School was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1974, and is the only African American landmark district in the nation.