UPDATE: One Love Tennis historic home HQ unveils plaque from HWF

Plaque unveiled at historic Orange Street property

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - One Love Tennis hosted an unveiling ceremony of a Historic Wilmington Foundation plaque on its Orange Street building headquarters on Thursday.

An official announcement was also made about the upcoming addition of a street-side marker by the Commission on African-American History.

To be eligible for an HWF plaque, a property must be 75 years of age or older. Properties 75-99 years old receive a russet plaque.

The property, located at 1406 Orange Street in downtown Wilmington, was bought by One Love Tennis in 2018 with donations, including a $50,000 contribution from Michael Jordan.

The property, which was built in 1929 and purchased by Dr. Hubert Eaton Sr. and Celeste Burnett-Eaton in 1946, is where One Love Tennis founder Lenny Simpson played tennis growing up. It is also where Eaton trained tennis legend, Althea Gibson, the first Black Wimbledon champion.

“Having this plaque given by the Historic Wilmington Foundation is another reminder about what the property means to the community,” said Simpson. “It is an important moment for the history of the community and the history of 1406 Orange Street.”

Simpson said the property is primarily his family residence and the One Love headquarters is upstairs.

According to the news release, One Love has been changing lives of at-risk young boys and girls, their families and the community for the better for six years.

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