OKLAHOMA CITY — Fire crews in Oklahoma City battled two early morning fires Friday, both took place within a 30 minute time period, were less than a mile apart from each other and arson investigators were also called out in each instance. After taking a deeper look, turned out one of the houses had strong historical ties to the state.
Sirens, flames and heavy smoke devour the homes overnight, smoke was still smoldering as the sun came up. Fire officials suspect arson and even though the home is empty, it’s still filled with history.
It was built by a man, a trailblazing African American architect, who lived during the time when racial discrimination was at its peak.
Leon Quincy Jackson was the first African American Architect to open up an office in Oklahoma back in 1950. The home was one of his projects, one that meant a lot to people he influenced, including his students.
“He was very detailed in his drafting, and I’m a very detailed person right now and I know it was because Mr. Jackson,” said Maclin.
Eugene Maclin, an Engineer, was a student of Jackson’s at Tennessee State. Maclin works side by side with architect James Black, an architect who said Jackson gave him a special message.
“Don’t be afraid to put your works out there,” said Black.
Both Maclin and Black are upset to hear about the fire that took away a piece of their mentor’s work.
“At this point in our history, we have a lot of that going on, people don’t value that anymore,” said Maclin.
Even though the structure is gone, people who knew Jackson said his legacy lives on through his inspiration and teachings. L. Quincy Jackson was buried in the Greenwood cemetery in Nashville.
A handful of Jackson’s designs have been demolished or destroyed, but some of his works stand tall in Chickasha, Midwest City and Guthrie.