Atkins High School

Harold Macklin, architect; Walter R. McCormack, consulting architect

1929; 1931

Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
Street Address:

1215 N. Cameron Ave., Winston-Salem, NC






The large, brick high school in restrained classical revival style was designed to serve the black students of Winston-Salem and funded in part by the Rosenwald Fund. It is said to have been the largest urban high school to benefit from that important philanthropic organization. The Rosenwald fund donated $50,000 of the $350,000 cost of construction, representing the strong local support. Its 60 rooms—including not only 27 classrooms but a gym, cafeteria, laboratories, and an auditorium—were planned to accommodate 1,140 students . Largely because of the customary employment of black workers in the tobacco industry, as well as the presence of a teachers’ college, now Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), Winston-Salem had a large black population including numerous middle-class families. The school was designed in collaboration with the Rosenwald Fund’s consulting architect, Walter R. McCormack of Cleveland, Ohio (see Macklin’s drawings in the William Roy Wallace Collection at North Carolina State University). The school was named for Simon Atkins, founder and longtime president of present WSSU.