Dr. James Shepard House - 1902 Fayetteville St.

35.975335, -78.901594

Cross Street
Year built
Architectural style
Construction type
National Register
Building Type
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Dr. James Shepard, founder of what is now North Carolina Central University, moved to the house at 1902 Fayetteville St. in 1925. Shepard, son of Augustus Shepard, well-respected minister of White Rock Baptist Church and brother of Dr. Charles Shepard, first lived in a house at 508 Fayetteville St.

After the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua was built, he moved into a small frame house on the campus. A fundraising drive by J.B. Mason, president of the Citizens Bank garnered enough funds to construct a new President's House on the corner of Brant St. and Fayetteville St. by 1923.

The house is and was Prairie Style architecture - common in the midwest, but not a common architectural form in Durham. Shepard lived in the house, and served as president of the university, until his death in 1947.

The house ceased to be used by the university's presidents (later "chancellors") after a new house for the chancellor was built in 1974. By 1980, it was in use as the admissions office for the university.

1902 Fayetteville, late 1970s

(1960s, courtesy of University Archives - James E. Shepard Memorial Library)

By the early 2000s, when I first went in the house, the university had abandoned the house, which was in very poor shape.

A concerted effort by Carolyn Green Boone, great-granddaughter of Dr. Shepard, resulted in NCCU restoring the house rather than demolishing it; the university received $685,000 from private donations and a grant from the National Park Service to fund the restoration. It is now fully restored, and serves as an exhibit to Dr. Shepard and a meeting space.

1902 Fayetteville St., 11.07.08


WHAT?!? Central didn't bulldoze the house? Their game must have been off that year...

Interesting that it's a Prarie-esque styled house. As you mentioned, you don't see that around here much.

Beautiful restoration. Thanks for the "feel-good" holiday post!

@ Gary...the house itself was used as an off campus office for quite a long time, then I do believe in the late 80's it was boarded up. And now, (I am glad) it has been properly restored. I do remember as a child (my grandmother's house was on Lawson, right down the street from the Dr. Shepard's home), going to the home, allot of the original furniture was still in it, and of course sitting on my grandmother's porch,with her and her friends recalling Dr. Shepard.

@Steve's comment "WHAT?!? Central didn't bulldoze the house? Their game must have been off that year...". Just so that we don't become overtly cynical here, the house was left alone primarily it was a source of pride within the Black community here in Durham, I remember fondly how much it was. I think that there was always a thought that the house would be restored, never to truly to be torn down.

Lastly, there are quite a number of homes within the Black/African American community here in Durham that are very distinctive and unique, Blacks whom were part of the community 'Middle Class', which was larger than you would would think, would be open to non-traditional homes that were commonly built in this area/region. This is just one of many unique homes with in the Black community I assure you. I should know, I grew up here in Durham, ran around with my Uncle Jeff all around NCCU, and I met/knew many of the owners of the businesses that ran along Fayetteville St. & Hayti

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