2005 Preservation Durham Old Durham Tour

2005 Preservation Durham Old Durham Tour


RECENTLY RENOVATED DOWNTOWN SPACES

In the guidebook for HPSD's 2001 tour, "Living it Up Downtown," Tom Miller wrote, "It is not premature to declare that downtown Durham has been saved." That year, the Baldwin building was an empty shell - today, it is filled with a dozen loft apartments. The previous year, the HPSD tour had explored Durham's Tobacco Heritage. Tour-goers were led through the deserted courtyard at American Tobacco, surrounded by dilapidated buildings with broken windows and sagging roofs. Today, the American Tobacco Historic District is home to a growing list of tenants whose modern, high-tech offices overlook a lush green lawn where cracked pavement used to be. It seems Tom was right! Our tour this year features these sites and many more that prove the new vitality of Downtown Durham.

obrien_1910s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2010_4/Duke_Main_NW_1890s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2010_4/cobb_obrien_fs2_1910s.jpgLiggett_NW_1920s.jpegLM_Shift_FireSt2_FayettevilleBus_1920s.jpeg

O'BRIEN BUILDING

602
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1898
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 07/11/2011 - 9:15pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 54.9564" N, 78° 54' 23.3568" W

Comments

602
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1898
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

obrien_1910s.jpg

O'Brien Building, 1910.

Looking northeast from Duke and Main Sts., 1890s. The tower of the Fire Station #2 is visible along West Main St. On either side, the stepped, projecting vent chimneys of Cobb and O'Brien are visible.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection)

Cobb on the left and O'Brien on the right, with the original Fire Station #2 between the buildings.

The O'Brien building was built in 1898; one year later the Cobb building was built to its west as similar warehouse structures, modeled on the extant Walker Warehouse across West Main St.


This view from the 1930s show the fire station tucked between the two warehouses located on the north side of Main street.
Liggett_NW_1920s.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

A partial view of both during shift change at L&M, 1930s.

LM_Shift_FireSt2_FayettevilleBus_1920s.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Multiple additional changes were made to the building over the mid 20th century, including bridges across West Main and Morgan St., subterranean tunnels under Morgan St., a new steel structural system extending the full height of the northern portion of the building to support the a chiller system on the roof, and exterior elevator shafts.

The O'Brien building remained its original two stories. Both Cobb and O'Brien were used primarily as warehouse structures in the late 20th century, as tobacco operations waned and Liggett eventually decamped in ~2001. They briefly considered renovating the remaining buildings in the complex themselves before agreeing to sell them to the Blue Devil Ventures group in 2003.

Here is the site prior to West Village phase 2 renovations, 2006.
FireSt2_2006.jpeg

In 2009, Blue Devil Partners completed renovations to the 'Phase II' of West Village project, which included Cobb and O'Brien, the Old Cigarette Factory, the Walker Warehouse, and the old L&M office building. Although I haven't been in either Cobb or O'Brien since renovation, my understanding is that they are primarily residential.


O'Brien building, 11.07.09

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/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/ImperialTobacco_pcard.jpgmartinwhse_1895.jpeg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/imperialtobaccoco_1910.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/imperialfront_1920s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/ImperialTobacco_pcard.jpg

THE IMPERIAL TOBACCO COMPANY

211
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1916
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 11/19/2013 - 8:17am by gary

Location

35° 59' 56.6772" N, 78° 54' 14.0688" W

Comments

211
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1916
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

The Imperial Tobacco Company of Great Britain and Ireland was established by 18 individual British tobacco manufacturers who wanted to counter JB Duke's expansion of the American Tobacco Company into Europe. After Duke purchased a British tobacco factory and began undercutting the British manufacturers, the Imperial Tobacco Company announced plans to establish an American market for themselves.

This led to an agreement between Duke and Imperial, in which Duke agreed to sell his British factory to Imperial in return for Imperial not entering the American market.

However, in order to cut their costs in the European market, Imperial sought to establish their own leaf-buying organization in the United States, and by 1903 was associated with Fallon and Martin in Durham.

Thomas Martin was one of many independent tobacco buyer/brokers in Durham who sold tobacco throughout the country during latter portion of the 19th century. This five-story building had built during the 1890s.
martinwhse_1895.jpeg
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

In 1908, Imperial bought Fallon and Martin, retaining Fallon to run their operations. The Fallon and Martin Factory became the Imperial Tobacco Company factory.


Looking northwest on Morris St.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun)

But these buildings burned in 1915. In 1915-16, the company rebuilt a factory on the same site - on Morris St. between Morgan and Fernway.


View of the new Imperial Tobacco Factory, 1920s, looking northwest. (As an aside, if you look closely in this shot, you can see the Brodie Duke homeplace on the grounds of Durham High/Carr Junior High. I hadn't realized until seeing this picture that they co-existed.) You can also see that the water tower remains from the old factory.
(Photo courtesy Digital Durham)


View from Morris St., looking northwest, 1920s.
(Courtesy John Schelp)


Rear of the building, from Morris and Fernway, looking southwest.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The Romanesque Revival building is similar to others that Imperial Tobacco built in Richmond and South Carolina.


Smokestack, 05.13.57

The factory operated throughout the early to mid 20th century. In 1962, the company built a new, modern facility in Wilson, NC, but maintained some operations at the Durham plant.


A rather odd shot (try to ignore the cars) of the Imperial Tobacco Factory from Morris and Morgan, looking northwest, 1963.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

In 1965, the company sold the building to the DC May decorating company, previously profiled in the 400 block of Morgan St.

From Morris St., looking northwest, mid-1970s.

Morris Street facade, 1970s (DCL)


Looking northwest, 1981; the DC May company, manufacturer of building and painting supplies, moved to this building after their building on Morgan St. was torn down by urban renewal. The building contained space for numerous tenants, and I believe had artist loft space in it during the 1990s.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

In 2003, D.C. May Corp closed its factory in downtown Durham as part of a combination with two other companies and sold the building to Measurement Inc., an educational testing service. Per the News and Observer "Most of the plant's 120 workers lost their jobs, although David May, president of D.C. May, said that about 20 workers may end up transferring to the company's new plant in Manning, S.C."

In 2005, Measurement Incorporated renovated the building as part of the expansion of their testing services company, and did an excellent job with the renovation.


From Morris St., looking northwest, 2007 (Photo by Gary Kueber)


From Morris and Fernway, looking southwest, 2007. (Photo by Gary Kueber)


10.02.10 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

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/sites/default/files/images/2007_5/210Rigsbee_1934.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_5/1938aerial_rigsbee.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_5/NE_from_washduke_1940.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_5/RigsbeeSnow_N_1945.jpg208-212Rigsbee_bowling_1950.jpg

204-212 RIGSBEE AVE.

204-212
,
Durham
NC
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 11/21/2011 - 7:13pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 50.6472" N, 78° 53' 59.2368" W

Comments

204-212
,
Durham
NC
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The once-residential area on Rigsbee developed from the tobacco warehouses south and from Mangum north during the 1920s. The house in the middle, now 204-208 Rigsbee, was demolished for parking (yep, even back in the 1920s.) The above photo shows the lot to the left of 216 Rigsbee from the construction site of the post office, 1934. 400 East Chapel Hill would be just out of frame to the right.

Below, this picture from 1938 shows that the lot remained vacant - it appears that there might be a parking kiosk at the back of the lot.

Looking east, 1938.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The below picture serves only to narrow down the date of construction - it shows nothing more that the roof of the buildings that were built on the lot, but the picture was taken in 1940.


Looking northeast from the Washington Duke Hotel, 1940.
(Courtesy Library of Congress)


A view of the buildings on the right, 1945.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

208-212Rigsbee_bowling_1950.jpg

The post office makes a view of the front of the buildings difficult - only the top floor is visible.

A view of the east side of the 200 block of Rigsbee, 1960.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

This shot is a reach - but it does show the vertical signs along the fronts of the buildings. I really like the effect of the mutiple vertical signs on the streetscape.


Looking north, 1963. A "Hardware" sign is visible, as is "Fridgidaire".

In the 1990s, these buildings housed Smith's Furniture store, Equipment Broker Service commercial kitchen supply store, and Captured Live studios. However, faulty wiring in the studio was later blamed for a fire that gutted the buildings in July 1998.

John Warasila had some guts and vision to take on both buildings and renovate one as office space for Alliance Architecture (with condos upstairs) and The Eleanor - which I believe is condos and meeting space.


Looking east-southeast, 2007.

I hope Greenfire shows similar love for Durham's history on the fire-gutted 120 West Main St. and doesn't use the fire as an excuse to take those buildings down. The classic counter to the preservation argument is "oh, it was too far gone." While there is such as thing as 'too far gone' - total collapse comes to mind - it's more often an excuse. The more honest answer would be "it wasn't worth it to us." I'm thrilled that it was worth it to Warasila.

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211NChurch_091011.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_7/200NChurch_1924.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_7/200NChurch_1970s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_7/100NChurch_SW_2007.jpg211NChurch_091011.jpg

209 NORTH CHURCH ST.

211
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1923-1926
/ Modified in
2005
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 09/12/2011 - 7:58am by gary

Location

35° 59' 43.1808" N, 78° 53' 56.022" W

Comments

211
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1923-1926
/ Modified in
2005
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

211NChurch_091011.jpg

---


(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The buildings along the west side of the 200 block of North Church St. are a very-well preserved block of early 20th century structures. The Hicks building, on the northwest corner of North Church and East Parrish, and its immediate 3 neighbors to the north were constructed around 1910. 209-211 North Church, at the northern end of the row, was constructed somewhat later, between 1923 and 1928, for the Durham Laundry, which had been located next door at 205-207 N. Church.
 

The Durham Laundry was not housed there long; they constructed a new facility at 822 West Peabody St. (the corner of South Gregson) in 1926. The building on North Church St. was then occupied by the Dillon Supply Co., which occupied the building until 1942. They then joined their predecessors west of downtown on West Peabody St. (the corner of South Duke.)

The building was occupied by Dub Sandwich Company for several years, and from 1960 until 2001 it was owned by J.H. Cook and Sons Leather goods, used primarily for storage.

The row of buildings in the 1970s - 209-211 is at the far end of the row.

In 2004-2005, the building was purchased and completely and impressively renovated with an upstairs residential area, a downstairs rear garage, and a downstairs anterior retail space.


Looking southwest, 2007.

These buildings are a great cluster of contiguous historic structures - they are just too isolated with the desolate landscape to the east and southeast. Although, as of 2011, the ongoing lease-up of Greenfire's Rogers Alley project to the west has meant that this fantastic block 'feels' closer to people than it has in years. 

211NChurch_091011.jpg

09.10.11

 

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/sites/default/files/images/2007_3/Baldwin_1940s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_3/111_115WMain.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_3/mainwestfrommangum_1905.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_3/111WMain_1910.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_3/MainandMangum_se.jpg

107-109 WEST MAIN STREET / BALDWIN'S

107-109
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1928
/ Modified in
1937
,
1970
,
2005
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 06/25/2012 - 5:30pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 42.4068" N, 78° 54' 3.9636" W

Comments

107-109
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1928
/ Modified in
1937
,
1970
,
2005
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

Just to the left of the structure at 115 West Main was the very similar 109-111 West Main, a Queen Anne structure built in 1893.


Looking east-southeast from Main St. ~ 1913
(From "Images of America: Durham" by Stephen Massengill)

And a view west from Mangum St., 1905, doesn't show much of the building, but the small tower is clearly visible.

(Courtesy Duke Archives)

111 West Main had the WA Slater clothing store as an early occupant.

In 1928, Baldwin's Department Store, which started in 1911 in the small two-story brick structure next to 109-111 West Main, constructed a new building of neoclassical design on the same site, 107 West Main.

Below, looking southeast from the Washington Duke Hotel. The roof peaks of 109-111 W. Main are just visible beyond the Geer Building. Immediately to its left is the scaffolding of the building under construction.

(Courtesy Duke Archives)


Looking south from Main St. ~1928.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

And the picture below, from the mid-1930s, shows the completed structure and 109-111 West Main


(Courtesy Duke Archives)

In the 1940s, Baldwin's bought 109-111 West Main and demolished the eastern (109) half of the building. They then expanded their building by extending the original design pattern, such that the new building was not noticably built in two stages. The remaining portion of 111 West Main was used as storage by Baldwin's.


(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The picture below is of a 1960s protest in front of 111 West Main. I believe that, in the segregation era, Baldwin's would not admit African-Americans to their store.

By the 1970s, both Baldwin's and 111 West Main had received some facade re-do on the first floor, but fortunately, were spared the flat-front, brick-up-the-windows abuse heaped on so many of these properties downtown.


Facade before change, 1960s


Scaffolding going up to apply new facade, 1960s.


New Facade being installed, 1960s


Baldwins, mid 1970s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


111 West main, mid-1970s.

111 West Main was renovated as office space in the 1970s and remained occupied. When Baldwin's moved west in 1986, the original building was, I believe, left vacant.

And so it stayed for quite a long time.

It's hard to believe how much things have changed downtown in a relatively short period of time. When Catherine Gutman and her parents bought the Baldwin building in 1999 with the intent of renovating it into apartments, the mere thought of someone willingly buying a downtown, in-the-loop building for wholesale renovation was astounding. And so it seemed that it was just a pipe dream, as that deal fell though in ~2002. But then the building was bought by Mike Lemanski, aka Greenfire, in 2003 as his first property renovation in downtown, which was completed in 2005.


Looking southeast, 2007.

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/sites/default/files/images/2007_3/118_120Parrish2.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_3/aerialparrishandmangum.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_3/parrishstnorth_1924.jpgwoodalls_wparrish_undate.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_3/100wparrish.jpg

118 W. PARRISH ST. / CHRISTIAN-HARWARD

118
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1900s
Construction type: 
,
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 11/19/2013 - 8:30am by gary

Location

35° 59' 46.1292" N, 78° 54' 3.4128" W

Comments

118
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1900s
Construction type: 
,
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

118 West Parrish St. is the oldest building remaining on the north side of the 100 block of Parrish St. It was built sometime before 1905 as a 2-story structure.


Looking east-northeast, 1905. Parrish St. is to the left, and 118 West Parrish is the rightmost structure in the row, with 3 sets of 3 windows. To its right is a large frame warehouse, which was the Mangum warehouse.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

During the early 20th century, the remainder of the block was developed with commercial structures, such that 118 W. Parrish was mid-block.


Looking northwest, 1924. 118 West Parrish is just to the left of the significantly taller NC Mutual building.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

At some point in the early 20th century, BC Woodall's bicycle and harness shop was located here

woodalls_wparrish_undate.jpg

A third story was added to the building sometime after 1924. I'm not sure when this became the Christian-Harward Furniture company, but it certainly was by mid-century.


Looking west down Parrish St., the Christian-Harward sign is visible on the right.
(From "Durham: A Pictorial History" by J. Kostyu.)

christianprintingmovingpress_060757.jpg

"Christian Printing Moving Press" - 06.07.57 (Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Above, the view looking northwest, 1963.

By the late 1960s, the front facade of this building was covered with a false front, which stayed on until several years ago.

1970 (DCL)

christianharward_061269.jpg

06.12.69

(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

chrisharw_jacktar_1970s.jpg

1974

(Courtesy Norman Williams Collection)

This building was renovated, I believe by Carl Webb, in ~2004.)

March 2007 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

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FIRST NATIONAL BANK / MAIN AND CORCORAN - SE

123
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1914
Architect/Designers: 
,
Builders: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

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Last updated

  • Fri, 01/17/2014 - 2:08pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 43.6596" N, 78° 54' 6.102" W

Comments

123
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1914
Architect/Designers: 
,
Builders: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

 

------

(Courtesy Duke Archives)

 

First National Bank and its decendents were the longtime occupants of the southeast corner of Main and Corcoran Streets. This was the second First National Bank building, constructed in 1887 by Julian Carr, who was one of the most prominent figures in early Durham history (and three of my previous posts have featured his buildings - Somerset Villa - his home, the Hotel Carrolina, and one of the Durham Hosiery Mills buidings.)

Carr established the bank with seed capital of ,000 of his own money, 0,000 of seed capital from James Augustus Bryan, president of the National Bank of New Bern (enough to make his 23 year old son Charles, just graduated from Princeton, vice-president of the new bank,) and money from 24 other subscribers. The United States Department of Treasury granted a charter to First National Bank on November 9, 1887 to conduct general banking and issue notes. By the end of its first year in business, First National Bank had deposits totaling 5,265.15, and had made a profit of 76.10.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

This view, taken from the top of the Trust building, looking east on Main Street and to the southeast, dates from between 1905 and 1907. It shows the First National Bank building on the facing corner. Also visible is the Hotel Carrolina, just to the south of the bank, the mansard roof of the Hackney Pharmacy building on the southwest corner, and Blacknall's pharmacy on the northeast corner (prior to the large fire which consumed that block). I can tell the approximate date of this photo because the tower of Union Station is visible in the distance (built in 1905) and the Hotel Carrolina is still standing (burned 1907).

First National Bank, ~1910 - after the Hotel Carrolina has burned.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

In 1914, the company demolished the original red brick Queen Anne structure to build a large neoclassical revivial replacement structure of seven stories, designed by architects Milburn and Heister.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

FirstNationalBank_SE_1920s.jpegr

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

A view of the buildings lining Corcoran: the Geer Building, First National Bank building, the Durham Hosiery Mills buildings on the east side; the Croft Business School, and the roof of the old post office are visible on the west side. This was taken from the top of the Washington Duke Hotel (All are gone except the First National Bank building) (Courtesy Durham Country Library)

A closer view. (Courtesy Duke Archives)

With the streetcar going by, 1927.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

In 1933, the bank became known as Depositors National Bank.

Side windows (Corcoran) above the sidewalk, 1940.

(Courtesy Library of Congress)

In the late 1950s, Security National Bank and Depositors National Bank of Greensboro and Depositors National Bank merged, but rapidly began discussions with American Commercial Bank of Charlotte. On July 1, 1960, the institutions merged to become North Carolina National Bank. At some point thereafter, the original balconies were removed from the front of the building.

1982 view, looking south down Corcoran.

(Courtesy Robby Delius)

(Photo by George Pyne courtesy Milo Pyne)

Canopy

The canopy was removed from the building sometime later.

(Photo by George Pyne courtesy Milo Pyne)

Aerial looking north at downtown, 02.01.89; the red "NCNB" logo is on the white-painted back of the building.

(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

I'm not clear as to when NCNB abandoned downtown Durham. It appears that the building was sold to Carver Investment Group, comprised of Terry Sanford and Clay Hamner of Brightleaf, Erwin Square, and Treyburn fame and Roy J. Carver, by NCNB in 1981, but NCNB seems to have occupied the building after that point.

Self-Help Ventures Fund acquired the building from Carver Investment Group in 2001. They renovated the building, with local historic architecture superstar Eddie Belk - which included locating the old canopy that had been removed from the front entry, restoring it, and replacing it in its rightful location. I'm not sure how it ended up in such bad shape, below.


 

Self-Help currently leases the building as office space.

Looking southeast, 2007. (Photo by Gary Kueber)

07.20.08 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

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/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/temple_1910.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/Temple_NW_1920s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/temple_1960.jpgtemplebuilding_1960.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/temple_1975.jpg

TEMPLE BUILDING

302
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1909
Architect/Designers: 
People: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Wed, 06/27/2012 - 2:29pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 46.1976" N, 78° 54' 8.712" W

Comments

302
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1909
Architect/Designers: 
People: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The Temple building was constructed in 1909 by John Sprunt Hill out of materials left over from the construction of Watts Hospital on Club Blvd. (His uncle, George W. Watts, was the primary benefactor of the hospital.)

The building was used as the headquarters of the Home Security Life Insurance Company, formed in 1916 (and initially located in the Trust Building next door). The Elks were located on the second floor, and the Odd Fellows on the third - giving the building its name.

Below, the antlers and "B.P.O.E." are visible at the second floor.


(Courtesy Durham County Library)

By the 1950s, Home Security Life had decided to expand, and in 1957 built a new building at S. Duke and W. Chapel Hill Streets, now the police department.

Below, the Temple building, 1960.

In the early 1960s, the Temple building became the home of the Guaranty State Bank. An unsympathetic remodeling of the first floor with a pseudo-colonial style significantly altered the facade of the buildilng.

templebuilding_1960.jpg

Early 1960s

This was later extended to the building just to the west on W. Main, further muddling the distinctiveness of the building.

In recent years, the building was purchased by Self-Help, who undertook a signficant rehabilitation of the building.


Temple Buildling, 2007.

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339-341WMain_1960s.jpgThe best view I could find of the whole row is from the 1920s.5pointsloancompany_1_010253.jpg5pointsloancompany_010253.jpg341WMain_1990s.jpg

339-341 WEST MAIN STREET

339-341
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1920s
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 09/20/2011 - 11:29pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 47.9832" N, 78° 54' 13.8852" W

Comments

339-341
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1920s
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

339-341WMain_1960s.jpg

339-341 W. Main was built in the 1920s as part of a row of structures replacing earlier frame establishments and industrial uses, such as Seeman's Carriage Works. The area between Corcoran and L & M rapidly took on a retail focus during this era, as the 'core' of downtown to the east focused more on the office and government sectors.

 

The best view I could find of the whole row is from the 1920s.

(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Above, mid-to-late 1920s picture showing the completed row of buildings along the southern 'point' of Five Points. One earlier-generation structure remains, set back slightly from the street - more typical of the previous structures. It would be replaced by the Snow Building by 1930. 339-341 is immediately to its right, with the ornamental 'points' atop the cornice.

By the 1950s, 341 was home to "Freedman's."  The smaller 339 storefront had a larger built-out 'shelf' as part of the cornice, and was occupied by the Five Points Loan Company.

5pointsloancompany_1_010253.jpg

01.02.53 (Courtesy Herald-Sun)

5pointsloancompany_010253.jpg

Interior of the Five Points Loan Company, 01.02.53 (Courtesy Herald-Sun)

341WMain_1990s.jpg

339-341, 1990s

(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

This row of structures remains the best-preserved historic architecture in Durham - actually continuing for more than a block without a parking lot. 

2007, during a streetscape project to return Main and Chapel Hill Streets to their original two-way configuration.

As of 2011, 339 West Main is home to Center Studio Architecture, and 341 a beauty salon. 

339-341WestMain_091011.jpg

339-341 West Main, 09.10.11

 

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americantobacco_1870s_2.jpegColemansDurhamMustard.jpegMap_GreenBlackwell_1867.jpegamericantobacco_1870s_2.jpegamericantobacco_1870s.jpeg

BLACKWELL'S DURHAM TOBACCO / AMERICAN TOBACCO CO.

,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1874
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Last updated

  • Tue, 09/23/2014 - 12:37pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 41.2008" N, 78° 54' 13.1076" W

Comments

,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1874
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
,
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,
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americantobacco_1870s_2.jpeg

The birth of the tobacco industry in Durham started with a handful of people -none of whom were named Blackwell, Watts, Duke, or Carr - who saw the new 'town' of Durham Station as a place of opportunity.

The first entrepreneur to see Durham Station as a central transportation hub that could pull tobacco from the counties around it for manufacture and distribution via rail was Robert F. Morris. Morris, a successful businessman in Hillsborough, came to Durham in 1857 with no prior experience in manufacturing tobacco. He persuaded Wesley Wright, who did have prior experience with the Wm. Vincent & Son firm in Alamance County, to join him at Durham Station and begin the RF Morris Tobacco Co., producer of "Best Spanish Flavored Smoking Tobacco." (Which was flavored with imported Tonka beans. They built a low, one-story frame factory building on the south side of Railroad St. (now Pettigrew) next to the original railroad depot (which was located between present-day Vivian and Pettigrew Streets.)

Wright left and began his own business in 1859, and Morris then partnered with Dr. Richard Blacknall - and after several more buyouts by WA Bowles, and WA Ward, Blacknall and Morris' portion were sold to John Ruffin Green in 1864.

Green, with more extensive tobacco sales experience, would hit upon two marketing breakthroughs - one through happenstance, and the other through some creative appropriation.

The first was the encampment of Confederate and Union troops at Durham Station at the end of the Civil War. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnson, whose troops were encamped at Hillsborough, and Union general William T. Sherman, fresh from torching Atlanta and electing not to torch Savannah, was encamped in Raleigh. They agreed to meet at a midway point on the road from Hillsborough to Raleigh -the farm of James Bennitt - to negotiate surrender of the Confederate army. While encamped at Durham Station, both sides availed themselves quite liberally of John Green's tobacco supply without recompense. While Green was distraught at the loss of his tobacco, when those same troops wrote to Green weeks and months later to order the Bright Leaf tobacco, he had successfully managed to hook a large and geographically diverse audience on his product.

The second was a discussion with his friend JY Whitted, who suggested that Green should make use of the bull used by the Coleman Mustard Company on their "Durham Mustard" containers.

ColemansDurhamMustard.jpeg

Although it's repeated in several sources that Whitted and Green chose the logo because they erroneously thought Coleman's was located in Durham, England, this seems unlikely. The name "Durham Mustard" had come to denote a variety of mustard, and was thus printed on containers as above, regardless of location of manufacture.

Green registered the trademark in 1866, along with the name "Genuine Durham Smoking Tobacco." He mounted a sign on the front of his factory depicting the bull.

Map_GreenBlackwell_1867.jpeg
Lewis Blount's 1867 map of Durham - the best way to orient yourself might be to find the railroad line and the spot that it says "Now Five Points." Main St. does not extend west of Five Points. #5 is the Green tobacco factory, and #10 is the railroad depot.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

During this same period, William T. Blackwell and James R. Day were building a tobacco sales business, and had established a tobacco jobbing house (a kind of distribution center that would buy tobacco from many different manufacturers to sell to retailers) in Kinston, NC. They were customers of Green, and when Green's health began to fail in 1868, they joined his business, which was changed to JR Green and Company. Green, despite attempted salutary trips to Catawba Springs, was unable to regain his health and died in 1869 at age 37. Blackwell purchased the remaining half-interest in the factory, including the trademark, at an estate auction for 92 in 1870; he then renamed the company the WT Blackwell Company, although JR Day remained a partner in the business.

Business was booming, and Blackwell needed additional capital to meet demand. Later that same year, he sold a 1/3 interest in the company to a 25 year old man from Chapel Hill - a UNC graduate and former Private in the Confederate army - named Julian (Shakespeare) Carr. This new capital allowed the partners to begin construction of a factory which would match their growth and ambition; this factory building (which would later be known as "Old Bull") was completed in 1874, the same year that Washington Duke moved to Durham, and 4 years before the W. Duke & Sons Tobacco Co. was established. The Old Bull Building was one of the first brick tobacco factories in the U.S. 

americantobacco_1870s_2.jpeg
Looking southwest at the corner of present-day West Pettigrew and Blackwell Sts., sometime between 1874 and 1879.
(From "Bull City Business Bonanza" by Ben and Snow Roberts)

americantobacco_1870s.jpeg
Looking southwest at the corner of present-day West Pettigrew and Blackwell Sts., sometime between 1874 and 1879.
(From "Bull City Business Bonanza" by Ben and Snow Roberts)

This L-shaped masonry Italianate structure was a revelation in 1870s Durham - which, the second drawing reveals, was a place of predeominantly small frame structures and muddy streets; it's hard to overstate what a bold structure this was in context; the first brick tobacco factory in the US, located in a tiny train depot town. The factory had a loud factory whistle which was purported to sound like a bull, and a large bell in a bell tower that rang on the hour.

The other revolutionary facet of the Blackwell Company's business was the extensive use of national, and international, advertising, such that the Bull appeared, seemingly, everywhere (including, purportedly, a sign on one or more Egyptian pyramids.) The company helped promulgate the notion of an iconic American brand promoted through advertising.

By 1878, Blackwell and Carr bought out JR Day, who seemed to do well enough to later build a rather sumputous house at Roxboro and Main. For their part, Blackwell built a fine house nearby at present-day West Chapel Hill and S. Duke Sts. and Carr a series of estates on the east side of downtown.

By 1879, business had continued to grow to the extent that the original factory warranted expansion, and another "L" was added to the original, extending the Railroad St. (now Pettigrew St.) facade to the west, and that new northwest corner to the south. This formed a U-shaped factory. In the early 1890s, a power plant was constructed on Second (Blackwell) Street, off the southeast corner of the factory building. 

By 1890, the Duke's American Tobacco Company owned 90 percent of the tobacco business in the county. The ornate brick buildings at American Tobacco and on West Main Street were built between 1887 and 1906. They conveyed a corporate image of power and success. 

OldBullBuilding_1895.jpeg
Old Bull with power plant behind it, 1895.
(Courtesy Duke Manuscript Collection / Digital Durham )

BlackwellsFactory_painting_1880s.jpeg
A wider view - a lot of details differ here, and I wonder if a bit of artistic license was involved.
(Courtesy Duke Manuscript Collection - Wyatt Dixon Collection)

In 1898, the Union Tobacco Company, which appears to have begun as a vehicle for financiers from New York and Philadelphia to acquire other companies, purchased the Blackwell company through the acquisition of the million in company stock.
In 1899, Union acquired a controlling interest in the Liggett & Myers Company of St. Louis. James B. Duke, intending to monopolize the tobacco industry, formed a subsidiary of his American Tobacco Company - the Continental Tobacco Company. This subsidiary purchased Union (including Blackwell's) and Liggett and Myers. By 1901, Duke merged Continental and American to form the Consolidated Tobacco Company. 

Thus began a rapid expansion of brick structures at the old Blackwell plant - in 1902, the horseshoe shape of the Old Bull Factory was enclosed by another wing on the south side, forming a 'box' shape. The Hill warehouses were built immediately to the west of Old Bull in 1902 as well. The Cigarette Building (later known as Lucky Strike) was built just to the south of the power plant in 1903, and the Reed Building just to the south of it in 1902. The Burch warehouse, oriented East-West, was built to the south of Reed sometime before 1913. The long series of warehouses along Carr St. (on the west side of the property) known as the Washington building was built from 1904-1905. It had 12 bays, excepting Bay 5, which was missing to allow for a drive from Carr St.

oldbullbuilding_1905.jpeg
Old Bull, the power plant, Lucky Strike, Reed and Hill - looking southwest, 1905.
(Courtesy Duke Manuscript Collection / Digital Durham

The Noell building, just to the west of Lucky Strike, was added in 1906.

BlackwellsDurham_pcard.jpeg
Looking southwest and down Blackwell St., 1906.
(Courtesy University of North Carolina)

"The Trust" as the Consolidated/American Tobacco company was called, engendered more resentment and distrust after the economic crisis of 1907 - a suit was filed against the company that same year for violation of the Sherman anti-trust act. A series of litigations occurred over the next 4 years, finally resulting in the Supreme Court-ordered dissolution of the trust in May 1911. The American Tobacco company was divided in 14 companies. Liggett and Myers returned to its home base of St. Louis, but with control of the former W. Duke and Sons Factory on West Main St. The former Blackwell plant became known as the (reorganized) Durham Branch of the American Tobacco Company under the leadership of Percival Hill. The company restarted the "Bull Durham" advertising campaign, putting signs in the outfield of baseball stadiums with an offer of to any baseball player who hit the Bull.

AT_Sanborn_1913.jpeg
Campus in 1913 - north is to the right.
(Copyright Sanborn Map Company)

Bull Durham smoking tobacco was the most popular brand in the country, and its stature only increased during World War I, when it was included in the rations given to soldiers on the front lines, and in 1918 production was temporarily taken over by the US government to exclusively supply soldiers with tobacco.

Bull Durham tobacco, to be clear, was not produced as cigarettes - cigarettes were "roll your own." Tobacco was placed in cotton bags manufactured and strung at the Golden Belt Hosiery Mill, which Carr formed in 1887 for the particular purpose of manufacturing tobacco bags. Golden Belt was originally located in the original wing of the Old Bull Building before outgrowing the space and moving to the old Whitted factory in 1899 (now Venable) and to its own factory in Edgemont in 1901.

These bags were typically tagged by home workers (a true 'cottage industry'). Women and children in particular would tag thousands of bags, often on their front porches.

By the 1920s, Bay 5 of the Washington warehouse had been filled in, making the Washington building a continuous series of bays.

americantobacco_E_early1920s.jpeg
Looking east, 1920s. From left to right: Hill, Old Bull, Washington (foreground), Old power plant, Noell, Lucky Strike, Reed.
(Courtesy Duke Manuscript Collection / Digital Durham

AmericanTobacco_SW_1920s.jpeg
Looking southwest, 1920s, at Old Bull, the Hill Warehouse, the old power plant, Lucky Strike, and Reed.
(Courtesy Duke Manuscript Collection / Digital Durham

OldBull_SW_1920s.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The 1920s brought new challenges to the company, as ready-made cigarettes became increasingly popular. The company tried to go head-to-head with cigarettes, but was fighting a losing battle. The company shifted to ready-made cigarette production, but its iconic brand had lost momentum, and sales suffered. However, Lucky Strike did become an increasingly popular cigarette, and Percival Hill's son George Washington Hill, emphasized the brand after taking over the company in 1925.

The relatively better position of Durham in the great Depression was exemplified by the increases in employment and sales at the American Tobacco in 1930. The company slashed prices of Bull Durham (bag) tobacco, and the brand saw a resurgence in sales. The company employed 3500 people in 1931, and produced 1.75 million cigarettes and 1.5 million pounds of smoking tobacco a month.

In 1930, the company constructed a new power plant, and the iconic Lucky Strike smokestack and water tower.

americantobacco_NW_1920s.jpeg
Looking northwest at the factory from near Morehead Ave. and Blackwell, early 1930s. The Washington warehouses are on the left, and the Burch warehouse straight ahead on the right.

It was around this same time that the original wing of the Old Bull Building was 'decapitated' and reduced from 4 stories to 2. I'm still not sure what the real reason for this was - I've heard a variety of explanations. Fire insurance, fires, utility costs, architectural style - I don't know the real reason.

Below, a series of views of the campus in 1937. The Hill Building (CCB/Suntrust building) is visible under construction in the background.)

americantobacco_courtyard_N_1937.jpeg
Looking north from near Morehead through the middle of the complex, 1937. The Washington warehouses are on the left, Burch, and beyond it, Reed on the right.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

Blackwell_NfromMorehead_1937.jpeg
Looking up Blackwell from Morehead, 1937.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

CarrSt._NfromMorehead_1937.jpeg
Looking north from Morehead up Carr St., 1937.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

AmericanTobacco_frmVivian_1937.jpeg
Looking west down Vivian St. at the old power plant and the east side of Old Bull.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

CarrSt._N_AT_1937.jpeg
Looking north up Carr St. alongside the Hill Warehouse, 1937.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

americantobacco_NWfromBlackwell_1937.jpeg
Looking northwest from Blackwell St. at the Reed building, 1937.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

In 1939, American Tobacco built the large Fowler Building at the southeast end of the campus (Blackwell and Morehead).

americantobacco_frmtrks_SW_1940s.jpeg
Looking southwest from the railroad tracks, 1940s.
(Courtesy the Herald-Sun)

In 1946, the Burch warehouse was torn down, and the Strickland Building was built just to the south of the Reed Building (George W. Kane was the general contractor,) and in 1955, the Crowe Building joined Strickland with Fowler.

americantobaccocourtyard_N_1950s.jpeg
Looking up the center of the campus, 1955, with Fowler in the foreground and Crowe under construction just beyond.
(Courtesy the Herald-Sun)

americantobacco_eastconst_1950s.jpeg
Looking northwest up Blackwell at the Crowe Building under construction, 1955. Strickland is to its right.
(Courtesy the Herald-Sun)

Two pair of additional warehouses were built to the south of the complex, across Morehead, and to the west of the complex, on Portland Avenue.

americantobacco_aerial_N_1950s.jpeg
Aerial view from the south, looking north, 1950s.
(Courtesy the Herald-Sun)

AT_Sanborn_1950.jpeg
Map of the campus, 1950. north is to the right.

americantobacco_SE_1950s.jpeg
Looking southeast down Carr St. and at the full complex, late 1950s.

Blackwell_S_060853.jpeg
Shift change on Blackwell St., 06.08.53
(Courtesy the Herald-Sun)

americantobacco_CarrSt._NE_1950s.jpeg
Shift change on Carr St., 1950s.

By the late 1950s, the old power plant / machine shop / smokestack, to the south of Old Bull were demolished.

americantobacco_SW_1950s.jpeg
Looking southwest, late 1950s.
(Courtesy the Herald-Sun)

In 1957, the last of the Bull Durham smoking tobacco production was moved from Durham to Richmond, and the Durham plant became exclusively a cigarette manufacturer.

FireatAT_1958.jpeg
Looking south down Blackwell St., 1958 (during a fire at the complex.)
(Courtesy the Herald-Sun)

The complex in 1959, annotated with buildings and dates - north is to the right.

AT_annotatedaerial_1959.jpeg
(Original aerial courtesy Durham County Library

AmericanTobacco_S_1965.jpeg
The complex, 1965, looking south.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The rather unfortunate decision was made in 1965 to cover the facade of Old Bull with pink metal. It's hard to even begin to channel the aesthetic at work here.

AmericanTobacco_1965.jpeg
Preparing the facade for metal covering, looking southwest.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

americantobacco_metal_sw_1965.jpeg
Fully metallic, 1965.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

A view of the company on a company postcard, 1967. You can see the cleared urban renewal areas in the background, mostly covered by giant cigarette packs.

AmericanTobacco_1970.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Cigarette production persisted into the 1980s, while continuing to decline throughout the 1960s and 1970s with decreases in smoking post-surgeon general's warning.

americantobacco_SE_1981.jpeg
Looking southeast, 1981.
(Courtesy Robby Delius)

In 1987, the American Tobacco Company shut down operations in Durham and moved all remaining production to their plant in Reidsville.

Thus ensued a series of proposals to redevelop the plant into something else.

The complex was bought by J. Adam Abram / ABD Associates, who intended to redevelop the campus. The success of the Durham Bulls under Miles Wolff, particularly post-"Bull Durham", coupled with the deteriorating condition of the DAP led to plans for a new ballpark, located on the University Ford site. But the primary motivation was that Jim Goodman was in talks with Wolff to purchase the Bulls - and wanted to move them to "Triangle Central Park," located mostly in Wake County.

In 1989, the city responded by promising Wolff a ballpark downtown, along with a sizable private investmen - GSK planned a move downtown, ADF and the Museum of Life and Science all would be part of the the new ballpark/ complex. ABD associates planned to commence their American Tobacco renovation as part of the development. The plan was approved by the city council, but rejected by the county, on the premise that it needed to be put to a vote.

When the vote failed in 1990 (with some strong editorializing against it by Jim Goodman), Abram abandoned plans to redevelop the complex, but retained ownership.

The city, as many know, wisely ignored the voters and built the ballpark on the east side of American Tobacco, rather than the west. Fortunately Wake County began to question paying for "Triangle Central Park", and Durham retained the (then Goodman-owned) Bulls. The DBAP was completed in 1995.

The American Tobacco Complex had sat idle during this time, but after the construction of the ballpark, a couple of former Duke basketball players who called themselves "Blue Devil Ventures" became interested in redeveloping the site. They acquired an option to purchase the site from Abram for .6 million. They attempted to obtain million in investment to renovate the property, but could not put together a package. Their option expired, and they moved on to develop West Village in 1998.

Third time, fortunately, became the charm. Capitol Broadcasting obtained an option to purchase the tobacco complex in 1999, and proposed an ambitious redevelopment that would include 3 new Diamond View buildings north of the ballpark (in addition to the one east of the ballpark.)

Thus ensued a protracted wait/delay from the original plans/schedule, and hopes began to diminish for people thinking that, once again, an American Tobacco redevelopment would prove a pipe dream. The city/county proposed a joint incentive of ~ million, including two new parking decks for .1 million. This would eventually become .2 million as the languishing plans stretched into 2002 (when, in April, Capitol finally closed on the property.)

The renovation of the campus was planned in two phases - with the southern ~2/3 of the campus first, accompanied by the city and county parking decks. The campus would include a central pedestrian-focused area as the nexus of activity with a 'river' coursing along the former rail passage through the center of the campus.

The first tenant, Glaxo, moved in by June 2004; work continued throughout the remainder of 2004 and 2005 to complete the first phase, which included corporate tenants, 4 restaurants, and that imprimatur of corporate acceptability, a Starbucks.

In June 2005, Capitol announced that it would partner with Streuver Brothers, Eccles, and Rousse - of Baltimore, to build Phase II - the northern and older portion of the property.

That work has been underway for some time, with construction finally wrapping up on the last renovated, and oldest, building on the campus - the Old Bull Building. One of the most exciting events of the early construction was the removal of the pink metal facade from the Old Bull Building.

AT_SW_1006.jpeg
Old Bull, October 2006.

AT_OldBull_093007.jpeg
Old Bull, September 2007.

OldBull_cornice_1207.jpeg
Rebuilding the cornice on the east and north facades of Old Bull, December 2007.

AT_SW_032308.jpeg
Old Bull and the remainder of the campus, 03.23.08

AT_Hill_SE_032308.jpeg
Hill Warehouse, looking southeast, 03.23.08

MachineShop_W_032108_0.jpeg
Location of the former power plant and machine shop - and a view of the south and final wing of Old Bull, 03.21.08

AT_Washington_S_032108.jpeg
Washington Warehouses, looking south, 03.21.08

Noell_SE_032108.jpeg
Noell Building, 03.21.08

LuckyStrike_SW_032308.jpeg
Cigarette Factory aka Lucky Strike, 03.23.08

AT_NW_031208.jpeg
Reed Building, 03.21.08

AT_PowerPlant_NE_032108.jpeg
1930 Power Plant and Smokestack, 03.21.08

AT_courtyard_N_032108.jpeg
Courtyard with the east side of Washington on the left, 03.21.08

AT_Fowler_NE_032108.jpeg
Fowler Building, looking northeast, 03.21.08

AT_Fowler_NW_031208.jpeg
Fowler Building, looking northwest, 03.12.08

AT_Strickland_NW_031208.jpeg
Strickland Building, 03.21.08

AT_Crowe_NW_031208.jpeg
Crowe Building, 03.21.08

AT_SouthDeck_NE_032108.jpeg
South (county) Deck - formerly the location of Bays 1-4 of the Washington Warehouses, 03.21.08

[The history section of this post relies heavily upon the excellent little book Bull Durham Business Bonanza by Ben and Snow Roberts.

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/sites/default/files/images/2007_1/507Yancey.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_1/BransonDirectoryMapofDurham_1887.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_1/602SDuke_fromCarr_1880s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_1/602SDuke_1891BE.jpgMBFranklin_507Yancey_1950s.jpg

FRANKLIN HOUSE - 507 YANCEY STREET

507
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1901
/ Modified in
1971
,
2001-2003
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Built as a rental house ~1901, this house was owner-occupied by the Franklin family for 50 years.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 01/12/2015 - 11:41am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 37.9284" N, 78° 54' 34.6176" W

Comments

507
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1901
/ Modified in
1971
,
2001-2003
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


507 Yancey St, 2003

507 Yancey was built in 1901 on land that originally 'belonged' to 602 South Duke Street, the James W. Blackwell house.

James W. Blackwell, brother of WT Blackwell (of Blackwell's Durham Tobacco fame) built his house at the southwest corner of Lee (later Duke) Street and Yancey Street sometime between 1881 and 1887. The house first appears in the City Directory of 1887, which included a map of prominent Durham locations. (#30)

An early photograph, taken sometime in the 1880s from Blackwell's Durham Tobacco Co. (later the American Tobacco complex, looking west, shows the house sitting at the edge of the developed area southwest of the center of town.


Looking southwest, 1880s. I've noted 602 South Duke with an arrow. 507 Yancey was later built on the empty land behind it.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


602 South Duke, with unusual trapezoidal gables and cruciform layout, is visible on the 1891 Bird's Eye of Durham, above. There are other houses to the west of it in this Bird's Eye, which do not conform to the layout of 505 and 507 Yancey
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection)

Blackwell had a number of careers, including work with the tobacco company, head of the Builder's Manufacturer's Supply Co., and a cashier for the Durham Water Company. He also bought and sold real estate, and later lived at 701 Jackson St. after selling 602 South Duke in the 1890s.

In 1901, the house was owned for a time by HN Snow, who subdivided the large lot that the house was on, building 505 Yancey, 507 Yancey, and 604 S. Duke on the original lot. 

505 and 507 Yancey built as similar, triple-A roofline cottages, hall-and-parlor style, with a two room wing extending back from one of the rooms. The center hall exited onto a rear porch that extended the length of the wing, and provided access to those rooms to maximize bedroom space.

507 Yancey was built with a set of 24" french doors (48") opening; the grade provided room for a full basement under the wing, which was used as a kitchen per Gene Franklin, who spent time in the house as a youth. In gutting portions of the house, it became apparent that much of the framing lumber was salvaged from an earlier dwelling (or several.)

The house was rented to a series of tenants over its first ~17 years. On March 6, 1918, 505 and 507 Yancey were sold to Durham Realty and Insurance Company. On June 18, 1918 DR&I resold the property to Liggett and Myers (with 505, as a single parcel.) Liggett evidently rented out the houses - I assume to their employees.

However, just 3 years later, Liggett decided to dispose of the various properties they had purchased in 1918. They sold the properties to First National Trust in February 1921. First National Trust divided 505 and 507 into individual houses/lots. On October 14, 1921, 507 Yancey was conveyed to Minnie Beck Franklin. Franklin and her husband Otho lived in the house for 30 years; Otho was a tool grinder, Minnie worked at Liggett and Myers.

MBFranklin_507Yancey_1950s.jpg

Minnie Beck Franklin in 507 Yancey St. (Gene Franklin)

On June 30, 1951, Minnie conveyed the property to her daughter, Nora. Nora worked at the Durham Laundry Company.

The character of the surrounding neighborhood changed dramatically in 1967-1968. Construction of the Durham Freeway severed the 500 and 600 block of Yancey from Morehead Hill and the West end to the west. Urban Renewal demolished the entirety of the neighborhood to the east of the 500 block of Yancey (east of South Duke Street.) The intent, if not the action, was to convert the small remaining residential area to commercial/institutional use (the zoning implemented after the demolition and Freeway construction.)

The southern (lower) of the two areas outlined in red is the small residential pocket containing 507 Yancey Street. The former connection with the neighborhood to the west is still apparent . 

On October 1, 1971, Nora conveyed the property to WInston Moore not long before her death, ending 50 years of Franklin family owner-occupancy at 507 Yancey.

Moore removed almost everything interesting from the house in turning it into a duplex. The two 24" doors were removed, most of the front porch was enclosed, windows replaced, etc. The house was rented as a duplex for 12 years.

507Yancey_1979.jpg

507 Yancey, 1979 (SHPO)

In 1983 tenants William and Katherine Pfieffer purchased the house. They added a rear addition in 1989.

In 1997, the house was purchased by Gary Kueber.

The first week in the new house, May 1997. (G. Kueber, Sr.)

from 1997-2003, Kueber restored the original features of the house, and undid much of the Home Depot-style renovations done from 1971-1990. (I.e., big holes in siding filled with globs of paper towels and caulk.)

Summer 1998. (G. Kueber)

Summer 1999 (on the extreme left you can see the baby cypress that came up from New Orleans.) (G. Kueber)

Summer 2001. (G. Kueber)

01.03.02. (G. Kueber)

July 2002. (G. Kueber)

12.24.02 (big pile of ice storm limbs out front.) (G. Kueber)

Early 2003. (G. Kueber)

Early spring 2003

Stripped back to the original interior - early spring 2003. (G. Kueber)

Rebuilding the bricked-in, sheetrocked-over fireplace, Spring 2003. (G. Kueber)

In 2003, Kueber won a Pyne Preservation Award from Preservation Durham for his restoration of the house.


507 Yancey St, Summer 2003 (G. Kueber)

05.19.06 (G. Kueber)

03.18.12 (See my cypress tree!) (G. Kueber)

03.18.12 (G. Kueber)

06.10.14 (G. Kueber)

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/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/jourdanhouse.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/dukelookingnorth.jpg

STANISLAUS JOURDAN HOUSE / 514 S. DUKE ST.

514
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1910
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 06/12/2012 - 7:47pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 40.488" N, 78° 54' 32.5512" W

Comments

514
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1910
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

 

Dozens of houses once lined South Duke St., north of Morehead Avenue. Early 20th century commercial expansion took over the area immediately surrounding West Main Street, but the stretch of S. Duke Street south of West Chapel Hill remained residential through the 1950s. However, the triumvurate of car-centered commercialization, urban renewal, and highways (the Durham Freeway) took out all of these structures.

Except one.

The Jourdan house at 514 S. Duke St. was built prior to 1910 by/for Sanislaus Jourdan, a native of France who owned the Jourdan Transfer Company in Durham. It is unusual for Durham, present or past, in its double-tiered porches.

Jourdan lived at 522 McMannen Street until 1903, when he moved to 606 North Mangum Street, then back to 511 McMannen Street in 1908. He is listed at this house in 1911.

However , from the aerial and Sanborn maps, it appears that the Jourdan House is similar in size/massing to most of the houses that once existed on Duke. Through what happy luck or stubbornness the Jourdan House survived while everything else was destroyed is a mystery to me.

It doesn't have much of a streetscape to look out on anymore.

One of the ways that planners and architects describe how a street 'feels' is a concept called enclosure. The idea is that there are certain ratios of the width of the street+setbacks to the height of the buildings that 'work' - i.e. people feel comfortable walking on that street. I'd highly recommend Alan Jacobs' "Great Streets" if anyone is interested in this topic.

The widened post-1960s Duke St. does not have good enclosure:

1) The road is too wide (particularly for a one-way road) and the setbacks on the east side are too large.
2) The one story commercial structures that dominate the left side of the street are too small.

Ratios should optimally approach 1:1 (the building height to street+setback width ratio). Duke St. is certainly quite a bit below 1 (the width of street plus setback is greater than the average building height.) At the space between BB&T and the SE Credit Union, the width is 172 feet with a 1 story building on one side and an effectively 4-story building on the other. So the average height may be ~24 feet, which is a ratio of ~1:7. Alan Jacobs feels that streets need to stay in the range of 1:2- 1:2.5 to still be human scale.

When one gets up by the police station, Duke Memorial, and NC Mutual, the proportions are much better (certainly exceeding 1 in the case of the NC Mutual building.) There are other reasons why the streetscape isn't great there, but it's not because of enclosure.

The result of this lack of definition on S. Duke St. is a formless kind of space that feels uncomfortable for pedestrians, and, the evidence shows, encourages higher traffic speeds, because drivers sense that there isn't much for them to run into. Combined with the freeway onramp, this is a bad pedestrian environment. Buffers between sidewalk and road (like street trees or parallel parking) could mitigate this problem somewhat, but those aren't present either. Anecdotally, I can affirm that people accelerate as they come off the freeway in order to 'beat' cars coming north on Duke as they cross over to the left lane.

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