The original buildings were destroyed in 1938 when a large part of Changsha was burned down during the war against the Japanese. The Nationalists later established a hospital on the site. In 1949, after the Communists came to power, the existing buddings were again used as a school. Between February 1968 and May 1969 new buildings similar to the that were on the site when Mao attended the school were carefully reconstructed. The school is now known as Hunan N0. 1 Teachers Training School and used for students training to become primary school teachers.
Mao Zedong studied at the school to become a teacher from spring 1913 and graduated in 1918. He hen went to Beijing, following Yang Kaihui, the girl he eventually married. He came back in autumn 1920 to work as a teacher at the school and stayed until 1921, when he left to attend the First General Assembly of the Party at Shanghai, returning soon afterwards to teach again before leaving for good a short time later.
The school is made up of a number of attractive buildings, very well maintained, and of a pleasant and harmonious style. There are lots of inner courtyards, arches and columns and the buildings are painted slate-gray, the columns being in while. The original school was established in 1912; Mao was supposedly one of the first students to enroll. Some of the rooms and desks (no originals) used by Mao in the original building have been roped off to form a small museum within the school. There are photographs of Mao and his classmates, reproductions of his schoolbooks, reproductions of the books he read with penciled margin notes, copies of articles he wrote, copies of old newspapers featuring important international events of the period, and sections of newspaper reporting the success of the Communists Revolution in Russia.
The visitor may also see the old well which is the only original part of the school site now intact: the small pavilion covering it is s a fairly recent addition.
Across a small lane in another section which, again, has been rebuilt recently are the rooms used by Man to give evening classes. Apparently over 100 workers became students, but the classes terminated six months later when Mao left the school for the last time.