Maxey-Crooms House

Maxey-Crooms House

Built in 1924, Maxey-Crooms House is a Frame Vernacular residence with Craftsman elements notable for its social history and architectural merit. The house was constructed by James Murrell, a skilled Black contractor from Gainesville, FL invited by Rev. H. K. Hill to build a parsonage for Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. His impressive winding staircase led to additional commissions, including the Hill-Tillinghast house, which hosted luminaries Mary McLeod Bethune and Bessie Coleman, Dr. William Wells’ home and the Maxey-Crooms home.

Woodford James Maxey and Mamie Crooms Maxey were prominent members of Orlando’s Black community. Born in 1880, W.J. Maxey settled in Orlando in 1904 from Louisiana. He became one of Orlando’s three original letter carriers, a position held until 1939. Maxey was active in the Knights of Pythias and invested in real estate. From 1910-47, he purchased 15 properties, including one sold to William Beardall, Orlando’s 26th mayor.

Mamie Crooms Maxey was the daughter of Moses, Sr. and Daphne Howard Crooms. Born into slavery, the elder Crooms left Goodwood Plantation in Tallahassee after the Civil War, settling in Orlando. Mamie’s brother Joseph founded Crooms Academy, the first high school to educate Blacks in Seminole County; alumni include Zora Neale Hurston and Rep. Alcee Hastings. Two brothers became pastors at Mt. Zion and a third served as Eatonville’s mayor.

The Maxey-Crooms House is a testament to the level of success achieved in this historically Black neighborhood despite egregious discriminatory conditions against African-Americans during the greater half of the twentieth century. As the last contributing two-story bungalow noted in the Holden-Parramore Historic District National Register Nomination that remains in its original location, the House was listed as a Historic Landmark by the City of Orlando on April 24, 1989.


The project entails a full historic restoration of the home, located at 638 West Anderson Street, with project design to be supervised by an architect experienced in historic preservation. The City of Orlando has selected KMF Architects for project design and will be conducting a federally-compliant procurement process for a general contractor and subcontractors.

The building will provide office space for one or more nonprofit organizations, with a preference for organizations with a history of serving the Parramore neighborhood. Organizations seeking rental information should contact Tonie McNealy, Real Estate Agent, at 407.246.2655.

The City of Orlando Procurement Division will host two public meetings to encourage certified M/WBE contractor participation. The meetings will be held on:

Additional projected milestones include:

  • January 2024: Construction solicitation issued by City of Orlando Procurement Division through Opengov
  • February 2024: Contractor selection
  • March 2024: City Council Approval
  • April 2024 – April 2025: Construction
  • May – July 2025: Close Out


This project is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, the City of Orlando and its Community Redevelopment Agency and sponsored in part by the Department of State and the State of Florida.