Located one-quarter mile apart on Sauls Road in southern Wake County, two North Carolina landmarks will open simultaneously on two weekends for public tours.
Panther Branch Rosenwald School, a Wake County Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, and Juniper Level Botanic Garden, a gift to North Carolina State University, will open Feb. 25-27 and Mar. 4-6 for self-guided tours. There is no admission charge at either location – hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 8 AM until 5 PM and Sundays 1-5 PM.
Constructed in the Colonial Style in 1926 and recently restored by Juniper Level Missionary Baptist Church, Panther Branch Rosenwald School was one of over 5,000 schools built in the southern United States by the Rosenwald School Project. This massive undertaking was a joint initiative by Julius Rosenwald, President and Chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Company, and Booker T. Washington, the first leader of Tuskegee Institute.
Following the Civil War and into the mid-20th century, school systems in the South continued to be segregated and underfunded for African American children. By 1928, one in five African American schools in the South was a Rosenwald School, educating an estimated one-third of the teachers and children. The Rosenwald Project is one of the most significant initiatives to improve education for African American children in the 20th century.