(January 2018, Photo by Cheri Szcodronski, hmwPreservation)
This one-story, side-gabled Ranch house is four bays wide and double-pile with a brick veneer, vinyl siding in the gables, and two-over-two, horizontal-pane wood-sash windows. A replacement door near the left (northwest) end of the façade is accessed by an uncovered brick stoop with a metal railing and a brick planter on its right side. Two pairs of windows on the right (southeast) end of the façade are separated by vinyl siding. County tax records date the house to 1952 and the earliest known occupants are Benjamin Booker, an agent at NC Mutual Life Insurance Company, and his wife, Lula L. Booker, in 1952. By the early 1960s, the house was owned by Dr. Irene Jackson, a French language professor at North Carolina College (later North Carolina Central University). Dr. Jackson lived in this house with her three children. Her oldest child, Maynard, later became the first African American Mayor in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the sister of Josephine Clement of Pekoe Street; and the sister of famous opera singer Mattiwilda Dobbs.
On March 7, 1947, B.F. Scott signed an agreement with J.F. Williams to assign and release the building of eleven houses on Cecil Street for financial reasons. This house was part of the contract. James B. Heizer Construction Company sold the hosue to B.B. Booker and Lula L. Booker on July 16, 1952. Dr. Irene Jackson purchased the house from the Bookers on July 3, 1961. Lemuria A. St. James bought the house on December 5, 1988.
On December 29, 2006, The Preservation Society of Durham placed protective covenants on this property for its recognized historical, cultural and architectural significance.
The house remains in the St. James family.
Dr. Irene Dobbs Jackson
Photograph by aaregistry.org
Maynard H. Jackson (center), Irene Jackson (far left)
Photograph by Ivan Allen, Jr. Digital Collection