This school, founded in 1910, was the first public high school for African-Americans in Charleston. It succeeded the Charleston Normal & Industrial School, a private school at Bogard & Kracke Streets, which had been founded in 1894 by Rev. John L. Dart. The new Charleston Colored & Industrial School, built here at President and Fishburne Streets by the City of Charleston, opened in January 1911 with 375 students.
David Hill became the first African-American principal in 1919. The school was renamed Burke Industrial School in 1921 in memory of J.E. Burke, vice chairman of the public school board. By 1930 Burke, with 1,000 students, had a full elementary and high school curriculum in addition to its vocational curriculum. Burke merged with Avery High School in 1954, was accredited, and was renamed Burke High School, in a new complex on this site. It was rebuilt in 2005.