WILLIE EDWARD "BLUE" JENKINS (1923-1988)
Jenkins was born in Raleigh NC. He graduated from Washington HS and served in the Army Corps of Engineers from 1943 to 1946. He married Gladys Rand in 1945 and they had one daughter, Miltrine. Following the Army, he entered NC A&T University and earned a BS degree in architectural engineering with high honors in 1949.
Edward Loewenstein hired Jenkins as his firm's first Black architect. In 1953, Jenkins was the third licensed Black architect in North Carolina. Under Loewenstein, among many other projects, Jenkins served as design architect for the Dudley High School gymnasium in Greensboro, innovative because of its intersecting roof arches and many windows.
In 1962 Jenkins opened his own practice with many projects at NC A&T, including the football stadium and the Ronald McNair School of Engineering (with J. Hyatt Hammond). He also designed the NCCU Law School Building, and with Hammond the Leroy Walker Athletic Complex. In 1972 he received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the NC A&T School of Engineering. In 1975 Jenkins was appointed to the North Carolina Board of Architecture. As of 2011, his daughter Miltrine Jenkins Barden lived in Rahway NJ.
Adapted from: African American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary 1865-1945.
1959 - The Charles W. and Irma Gadson House, 2511 Cherry Street, Winston-Salem NC. Designed while working for Ed Loewenstein. Gadson managed the construction project, assembling a team of Black contractors including John Smith, who erected the house; Frank Murrell, who did the interior stone accent wall, the stone retaining wall bordering the west driveway, and the concrete sidewalks and driveways; Daniel W. Andrews, who installed the plumbing and heating systems; and Dock Love, who plastered the interior walls and ceilings. As of 2011 still owned by Irma Gadson.
1959 - The Edward Holley House, 1202 Julian Street, Greensboro NC. Sold in 1989 to Tracey and Cedric Jarman, still owners as of 2014.
1959 - The W. Edward Jenkins House, 1208 Ross Avenue, Greensboro NC. One of the South Benbow Road neighborhood houses included in a 2021 application as a candidate for the National Register of Historic Places. Sold in 2001 to Kermit and Wanda Morehead.
1960 - The J. Kenneth Lee Residence, 1021 Broad Avenue, Greensboro NC. JWR Grandy was the landscape architect. One of the South Benbow Road neighborhood houses included in a 2021 application as a candidate for the National Register of Historic Places. Sold in 2018 to Scott and Camellia Wood.
1960 - The Wells House, 1201 (now North) Benbow, Greensboro NC. Destroyed.
1964 - The Juanita S. Herring House, 3660 Spaulding Drive, Winston-Salem NC. As of 2011 owned by Hubert and Ericsteen Lash. Built by Charles Gadson.
1967 - The J. Raymond and Ruth Oliver, Jr. House, 3961 Pomeroy Drive, Winston-Salem NC. Frank Carpenter was general contractor; James R. Grace, masonry; Chico Carter, cabinetry; Charles Gadson, electrical; Daniel W. Andrews and Sons, plumbing and heating systems; and Frank Murrell, retaining walls in the backyard. Still owned by the Olivers as of 2014.
1967 - The Shaffner House, 100 Main Street, Weldon NC. No photo, address needs verification.
1972 - The Ritchwood House Renovation, 51 Baldwin Avenue, Newark NJ. Probably destroyed; house there as of 2016 has build date of 2003.
Sources include: Heather Fearnbach; African-American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary, 1985-1945.