W.G. Pearson Elementary School

The 1928 W.G. Pearson school building was extensively renovated in 2007 after the W.G. Pearson Elementary School relocated to a new campus farther south. The original building, on Merrick Street near the Stanford L. Warren Library, now houses the W.G. Pearson Magnet Middle School. The 1982 Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory describes Pearson as having "one of the most sophisticated exterior designs for a school building in Durham," with a carved stone surround at its entrance and a copper cornice along the roofline. W.G. Pearson was a Hayti businessman and educator, at one time principal of Hillside High School. He made a practice of recruiting college graduates to teach in Durham's African American schools at a time when teachers in the segregated schools were only required to have completed the ninth grade. Pearson was president of the Fraternal Bank and Trust Co. and organizer of the Royal Knights of King David fraternal lodge.
Merrick StreetUmstead Street
William Gaston Pearson