When Monroe Elementary School opened in 1927, it was a key part of Topeka's grand, million-dollar school construction program. Topeka wanted a first-class educational system that would promote pride in the city's schools. The new Monroe School featured classrooms, a kindergarten, space for manual training and home economics, and a large combined gymnasium/auditorium. Despite the improvements, Monroe and the other elementary schools in Topeka remained racially segregated. In 1951, parents of students from Monroe School joined others from across the city as plaintiffs in the Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit, forever linking this site to one of the most important legal decisions in American history.