420 NORTH MANGUM

/sites/default/files/images/2010_10/420Mangum_1950s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2010_10/506Mangum_1948.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2010_10/420NMangum_102710.jpg

420 NORTH MANGUM

420
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
/ Demolished in
1952
Construction type: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by Toby on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 6:18pm

    You can still see some of the remnants of Wyatt St by looking at either Google Maps (Map View) or the city GIS maps: http://gisweb.durhamnc.gov/GoMaps/map/Index.cfm?parcel_id=102966

    The odd shape of the triangular parcel reflects the old route of Wyatt St as it proceeded due west from Cleveland to Mangum.

    @Gary -- per the "two grid" explanation of the downtown street pattern (was it Michael Bacon's idea or yours?), do you think the east-west orientation of the old Wyatt St indicates that it predated the spread of the railroad-oriented grid to the north?

  • Submitted by Gary on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 6:37pm

    Toby

    My guess is that the block of Seminary St. to the west actually predated the extension of that grid northward; that 100 block of Seminary parallels Main (perpendicular to Mangum) and likely was established with the Seminary itself. Seminary west of that block, and Wyatt to the east of that block (and Mangum) both paralleled Chapel Hill St. See this 1913 Sanborn.

    Elliott, farther to the east, paralleled Main. So it was basically segments alternating CH grid / Main grid / CH grid / Main grid. The third segment was put on the Main grid. The block between Foster and Rigsbee still follows the CH grid.

    GK

  • Submitted by Amy G. on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 6:59pm

    I'd love to see the DCVB move into (and save) a historical house. Too bad it couldn't have been this one.

  • Submitted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 8:24pm

    In the 60's through the year 1972 this location housed finance companies like Auto Discount and
    Signal finance. My father was mgr.
    for these companies.The building had one of the first drive throughs. His secretary was named
    Mrs.Mangum..

  • Submitted by Michael Bacon on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 10:27pm

    I wrote the blog post on the double grid system, but the credit really goes to Caleb Southern, who explained it to me.

  • Submitted by Toby on Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 2:53am

    @Michael:

    I was pretty sure I had first heard about Durham's double grid street pattern a couple of years ago from several meticulously written posts at your place. So how come I can't find them there now?:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=double+site:bullinfull.typepad.com

    http://www.google.com/search?q=grid+site:bullinfull.typepad.com

    I really hope they haven't disappeared down some Internet memory hole!

    Toby

  • Submitted by Michael Bacon on Monday, November 1, 2010 - 2:47am

    Toby,

    The post about the two grids was the first in a series that I titled, rather unfortunately, "Two-Way Love." There's a link to it for you.

    I should add that at this point, Gary has added considerably to my understanding of how things work, and my original posts greatly underestimate the amount that changed through urban renewal. So, the historic narrative as I present it there is off, but the geographic point remains.

  • Submitted by Joseph H. on Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 6:48pm

    Gary, if you're still looking for houses on diagonals at corners, there's one at the northwest corner of Ruffin & W. Knox: http://bit.ly/dn5hf4

    It's not much of a diagonal really. :) And for some reason, the Google Street View shots don't really bring out the non-orthogonality of the site plan, but it's clear on the overhead view (which is where the link points).

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Last updated

  • Sun, 08/21/2011 - 10:30pm by gary

Comments

420
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
/ Demolished in
1952
Construction type: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


~1952, looking southeast from the corner of N. Mangum and Wyatt Sts.
(Courtesy Duke RBMC - Wyatt Dixon Collection)

The early history of 420 N. Mangum is a bit sketchy, as the deeds are complicated by the mess of the Redevelopment Commission combining parcels, and its address doesn't appear on the early Sanborn maps. I can understand the source of their confusion to some degree, as one of the things that made 420 N. Mangum interesting was that it faced the corner of N. Mangum and Wyatt Streets on a diagonal; I'm not aware of another residential property in Durham that was or is like this. A tall house, it sat on a promontory, thus towering over its neighbors.


1948 aerial of the intersection of N. Mangum and Wyatt streets. As it sits in the shadows, I didn't notice 420 N. Mangum when I first looked at this picture, but when I suddenly noticed it, I was amazed that I had missed it, given how big it is in relation to its neighbors.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

City directories show Ludelia Whitehead as the occupant in 1919, and the directories seem to indicate that she was running a boarding house; she was running a different boarding house in 1915. HW Knight is listed at the house in 1928, Henry C. Jenkins in 1934, James Massey in 1939, and Nannie Breedlove in 1944.

By 1952, the house was demolished - in progress in the top photo. It was replaced by a single story commercial structure - the M&G Finance Corporation.

During the early 1970s, this land was taken by urban renewal, and Wyatt Street was realigned to connect Seminary and Elliott. The land was sold by the Redevelopment Commission to Yorkshire properties; since 1994 it has been owned by the County. It is currently the parking lot for the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Site of 420 N. Mangum, 10.27.10

I'll take the opportunity to note that, although I'm a fan of all the folks at DCVB, I really do not like this building for them. Architecturally, it reminds me of a welcome center at a state line rest stop - not the kind of architecture that gets you excited about the special character of a place. It's compounded by the Loop and the silliness of Rotary Park, of course - the building feels much farther away from East Chapel Hill St. than it should. Regardless, I hope someday to find the DCVB (or the DCVB finds themselves) in a more urban piece of architecture

Find this spot on a Google Map.

Comments

You can still see some of the remnants of Wyatt St by looking at either Google Maps (Map View) or the city GIS maps: http://gisweb.durhamnc.gov/GoMaps/map/Index.cfm?parcel_id=102966

The odd shape of the triangular parcel reflects the old route of Wyatt St as it proceeded due west from Cleveland to Mangum.

@Gary -- per the "two grid" explanation of the downtown street pattern (was it Michael Bacon's idea or yours?), do you think the east-west orientation of the old Wyatt St indicates that it predated the spread of the railroad-oriented grid to the north?

Toby

My guess is that the block of Seminary St. to the west actually predated the extension of that grid northward; that 100 block of Seminary parallels Main (perpendicular to Mangum) and likely was established with the Seminary itself. Seminary west of that block, and Wyatt to the east of that block (and Mangum) both paralleled Chapel Hill St. See this 1913 Sanborn.

Elliott, farther to the east, paralleled Main. So it was basically segments alternating CH grid / Main grid / CH grid / Main grid. The third segment was put on the Main grid. The block between Foster and Rigsbee still follows the CH grid.

GK

I'd love to see the DCVB move into (and save) a historical house. Too bad it couldn't have been this one.

In the 60's through the year 1972 this location housed finance companies like Auto Discount and
Signal finance. My father was mgr.
for these companies.The building had one of the first drive throughs. His secretary was named
Mrs.Mangum..

I wrote the blog post on the double grid system, but the credit really goes to Caleb Southern, who explained it to me.

@Michael:

I was pretty sure I had first heard about Durham's double grid street pattern a couple of years ago from several meticulously written posts at your place. So how come I can't find them there now?:

http://www.google.com/search?q=double+site:bullinfull.typepad.com

http://www.google.com/search?q=grid+site:bullinfull.typepad.com

I really hope they haven't disappeared down some Internet memory hole!

Toby

Toby,

The post about the two grids was the first in a series that I titled, rather unfortunately, "Two-Way Love." There's a link to it for you.

I should add that at this point, Gary has added considerably to my understanding of how things work, and my original posts greatly underestimate the amount that changed through urban renewal. So, the historic narrative as I present it there is off, but the geographic point remains.

Gary, if you're still looking for houses on diagonals at corners, there's one at the northwest corner of Ruffin & W. Knox: http://bit.ly/dn5hf4

It's not much of a diagonal really. :) And for some reason, the Google Street View shots don't really bring out the non-orthogonality of the site plan, but it's clear on the overhead view (which is where the link points).

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