Benbow Park to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places |


The Magnolia – billed as “The House the Soul Built” – began as a single-family home when Gorrell Street was considered a white neighborhood.

Andrew Krech / News and Archives

GREENSBORO – A neighborhood that has played a central role in the civil rights movement while being an example of unique architecture is one more step towards inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

East Greensboro’s Benbow Park neighborhood, known for its mid-century homes and churches designed and built by African-American architects, is part of a city effort to document the history of the venerable neighborhood.

On Tuesday, city council voted unanimously to accept a $ 40,000 grant from the National Park Service to help prepare for a nomination. The money will allow the city to hire a historian who will document sites important to the national register.

The City will also continue to conduct oral history interviews to better illustrate the neighborhood’s illustrious past.

Mike Cowhig, a senior city planner, said earlier this year that the Benbow Park area is historically significant for several reasons, including the many examples of professionally designed and built mid-century modern homes and churches. black. The region was also home to leaders and participants in the civil rights movement.

Residents include Henry Frye, the first African-American chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court.

The late civil rights lawyer Kenneth Lee also lived there. At his Broad Avenue home, he spoke about strategy with figures such as future United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

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