Russell School, 02.12.09
I know less about Durham's Rosenwald Schools than I should, but I have to imagine that the Russell School on St. Mary's Road, is one of the better preserved/restored Rosenwald schools in the state of NC.
For those unfamiliar with the Rosenwald Fund and the schools it produced, there is a good amount of literature out there about the national effect of its philanthropic program. In a nutshell, Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears and Roebuck from 1908 to 1922, became friends with Booker T. Washington in the early 20th century, and became a member of the Board of Directors of the Tuskeegee Institute in 1912. Rosenwald established the Rosenwald Fund in 1917, which primarily funded the establishment of rural schools for African-American children. From the Wikipedia entry:
"The school building program was one of the largest programs administered by the Rosenwald Fund. Using state-of-the-art architectural plans designed by professors at Tuskegee Institute, the Fund spent more than four million dollars to build 4,977 schools, 217 teachers' homes, and 163 shop buildings in 883 counties in 15 states, from Maryland to Texas. The Rosenwald Fund used a system of matching grants. Black communities raised more than $4.7 million to aid in construction. These schools became known as "Rosenwald Schools." By 1932, the facilities could accommodate one- third of all African-American children in Southern schools."
The Russell school was built prior to 1920 according to Rosenwald’s two-teacher plan, and retains its original facade. Copious windows on the front and sides of the building were stipulated by Rosenwald to provide ample natural light and ventilation.
I don't know when the Russell School ceased to be a school, but I believe it is affiliated with the adjacent church, and has been used as a community center.
Find this spot on a Google Map.