This one-story, front-gabled commercial building has a three-bay aluminum storefront with a door flanked by large picture windows. The building has a brick veneer with vinyl siding in the front gable and vinyl trim. The shed-roofed front porch is supported by large decorative metal braces and shelters a terra cotta-covered stoop. A picture window remains toward the front of the south elevation; the corresponding window on the north elevation has been bricked-in. There are small windows toward the rear of the side elevations and a full-width, shed-roofed rear ell. A grocer and blacksmith are listed at this address as early as 1925; however, the current building was likely constructed around 1935. The College Inn (confectioners and restaurant) was listed here from 1935 through 1950. It is currently the New Visions of Africa restaurant.
The College Inn was listed in Victo Hugo Green's Green Book between 1948-1963. The Green Book was an African American traveler’s annual guide for navigating Jim Crow America while on business trips and vacations. Within its pages, readers could find entries – listed by city – for restaurants, lodging, gas stations, beauty parlors and barber shops, and other service providers, such as tailors, who would gladly take their business in an otherwise potentially unfamiliar and hostile environment.
Submitted by Melva Rigel on Wed, 1/27/2021 - 1:37pm
The College Inn was still in operation until the late 1960s. The original owners were William H. Jones and his wife, Martha Jones. According to their daughter, Valjeanne Jones Williams, who still owns the property, her father William Henry Jones was given the property by his uncle Rueben Stone who owned a large number of properties in Durham. And Rueben Stone had bought it from Fitzgerald when Durham was still a part of Orange County. They enjoyed celebrated customers including blues singer Ruth Brown, band leader Duke Ellington , R&B singers James Brown and Ike & Tina Turner and Civil Right Activist Malcolm X. Malcolm visited the restaurant after her father died but he would come and have long conversations with my mother and step-father, Carl L. Easterling. Mr. and Mrs. Easterling also provided free meals to the Hillside High School Basketball team who were coached by Mr. Easterling.
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