118 Nelson Street

35.973803956728, -78.906533818951

Year built
Architectural style
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National Register
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Photograph taken by Cheri Szcondronski, National Historic Register Submission, January 2018

Located on a hill overlooking Nelson Street, this one-story, hip-roofed Ranch house is three bays wide and triple-pile. It has a brick veneer and metal-framed windows that wrap all four corners of the building. A solid wood door with one light is centered on the façade in an inset entrance bay. Flanking the entrance bay are wide windows with one-light, metal-framed picture windows, each flanked by nine-light windows with three-light transoms, resulting in a façade that is more than fifty-percent glass. A basement-level garage bay on the right (northwest) end of the façade has been enclosed with paired French doors. There is an interior brick chimney and a large, gabled brick wing at the rear (southwest) with vinyl windows. A brick retaining wall extends across the front of the property and the left side of the driveway. County tax records date the house to 1950 and the earliest known occupant is Dr. Helen G. Edmonds in 1955. Edmonds was a well-known educator and civic leader. She was a professor of history at North Carolina Central University and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She was also active in politics and seconded the nomination of Dwight D. Eisenhower for president at the 1956 Republican National Convention.

In 1970, Dr. Edmonds chaired the United States delegation to the Third Committee of the United Nations and was appointed to the National Advisory Council of the Peace Corps by President Richard Nixon.  She retired from North Carolina Central University in 1971.  The Helen Gray Edmonds Classroom Building is named in her honor on the campus.  Dr. Edmonds died on May 9, 1995.

According to county deed records, C.C. Edwards and his wife, Annie, sold the lot to Helen G. Edmonds on August 11, 1949 and she built her home and moved into it in 1950.  Dr. Edmonds' sister, Lucille E. Robinson, lived with her and continued to live in the house after Dr. Edmonds' death.  Her brother, Harry Edmonds, Sr., a coach and physical education professor at NCCU, lived at 1903 Cecil Street in College Heights.

On September 5, 2006, Lucille E. Robinson sold the property to Michael D. Page and Deborah G. Page.  The Page family are the current owners and rents the house to tenants.

Dr. Helen Gray Edmonds R. Kelly Bryant Papers and Obituary Collection Durham County Public Library   University of North Carolina Press, 1951

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