Spot on. If I were to develop it out, it would be the story of a downtown neighborhood in a southern city. As mostly white families come in with the intention of becoming part of the history of the neighborhood, they actually preserve a cleaner and more distant version of the past. As homeowners associations and neighborhood watch groups try to get Mr. Wilson to clean up his house to bring it up to the standards of the newly "historic neighborhood" the conversation with the reporter will show that the good intentions of these new families are almost the same as those of their father's, whose patronizing "we know best attitude" pushed a generation to the tipping point.
It's a fun idea actually, with the house and the neighborhood acting as a mirror to the social issues.
You're right about the interior and the book case, I'm hoping for Mr. Wilson to be the one who sees the parallels, and uses his knowledge of history to navigate a world of whites who believe they're helping but who also haven't examined that belief.