2009 Preservation Durham Ghost [building] Tour: Before Brightleaf and West Village

2009 Preservation Durham Ghost [building] Tour: Before Brightleaf and West Village


Over Halloween weekend of 2009, Preservation Durham offered its second annual Ghost [building] Tour. That tour, in part inspired by the description in Endangered Durham of lost structures throughout downtown, invited participants to experience -- in situ -- historic streetscapes of downtown Durham.

While standing in the location of the original photographer, tour participants viewed semi-transparent photographs of homes and businesses, churches and civic institutions, and saw contemporary life peeking through. None of these buildings remain (hence, their "ghost" status); parking lots cover most of the parcels formerly occupied by these structures.

Excerpts from the tour booklet are listed below, along with the individually profiled Endangered Durham features.

 

BEFORE BRIGHTLEAF AND WEST VILLAGE

One hundred years ago, the part of downtown Durham between what we currently call Brightleaf Square and West Village was firmly held in Duke hands. Not Duke University, which had only recently been relocated from Randolph County fewer than twenty years prior and which was still known by its erstwhile name of Trinity College, but rather by the Duke Family.

In 1909 Fairview, the Victorian mansion of recently deceased patriarch Washington Duke, stood at the southeast corner of Duke and Main Streets. Two of Wash’s three adult sons built their own homes nearby: Brodie lived a large house (where the Durham School of the Arts is now located), complete with a four-story tower on its front façade; Benjamin had recently erected Four Acres, a spacious, Chateauesque mansion on the southeast corner of Duke and Chapel Hill Streets. The Terrace, his earlier Victorian mansion, had been moved to the north directly across Chapel Hill Street.

Buildings of the Duke’s American Tobacco Company empire book-ended this area, with the Old Cigarette Factory on the east (although it was, in 1909, four stories tall) to the new Watts and Yuille warehouses to the west. The Main Street Methodist Church, built for the religious care and education of the factory workers, stood at the southeast corner of Gregson and Main Streets.

Other cultural amenities and civic services provided by the Dukes dotted the landscape: Brodie gave land at the northwest corner of Duke and Main Streets for a picnic and playground area, while Ben and Wash financed the beautiful Italianate Southern Conservatory of Music. Additionally, the family company built the City’s second fire station, one block east on Main Street. Even the street names reflect the influence of the family: Duke, Fuller (their legal counselor), Memorial (honoring both Wash and daughter Mary), and Gregson (the family’s pastor at Main Street Methodist).

Yet the seemingly unbreakable bond between Duke and Durham was not assured from the outset. Washington Duke, who moved his family to the very western edge of town in 1874, was just one of many tobacco growers and peddlers in the area. Longtime nemesis William T. Blackwell, owner of the “Old Bull” smoking tobacco brand, built his own house in 1875 at the northeast corner of Duke and Chapel Hill Streets, a stone’s throw from Wash. A few years later, Blackwell was a driving force in sustaining Durham’s first public Graded School, which opened across the street from the Old Duke Cigarette Factory.

Two other buildings on this tour were constructed in the 1920s: the Durham Dairy Products building and the YWCA. These structures went up as the Duke family interests were shifting toward hydroelectric power and in endowing Trinity College.

The ghosts of the past are within reach, as you will see on today’s tour. The area between Brightleaf Square and West Village was once populated with the homes and civic establishments of the Duke family, as well as others. Learn their stories; gaze at their photographs. And consider what life was like, here, at a different age.

 

/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/SoCoMusic_Duke_SW_pcard_1910s.jpgSouthernConsMusic_SW1_pcard.jpegsouthercons_fromfairview_1905.jpegSouthernConsMusic_pcard.jpeg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/DukeandWMain_SW_1910.jpg

SOUTHERN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (1898-1924)

102
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1898
/ Demolished in
1924
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 06/15/2017 - 4:14pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 57.1992" N, 78° 54' 30.8484" W

Comments

102
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1898
/ Demolished in
1924
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

The Southern Conservatory of Music was built in 1898 on the southwest corner of Duke and West Main Streets. Per the great-granddaughter of the founder, Gilmore Ward Bryant, Washington Duke invited 'GW' to Durham to "bring more culture" to the city and financed the construction of the conservatory across Duke St. from his house, Fairview. Architects Hook and Sawyer of Charlotte, who also designed the Academy of Music and Fire Station #2 designed the elaborate Italianate structure.

GW and his wife composed music, poetry and taught the students (exclusively young women) voice, piano, violin, cello, and harp.


Looking southwest from the intersection of Duke and West Main
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

SouthernConsMusic_SW1_pcard.jpeg
Looking west.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

southercons_fromfairview_1905.jpeg
The main entrance on Duke St., taken from the yard of 'Fairview', looking west.

SouthernConsMusic_pcard.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)
A view from the west sidewalk on Duke Street, looking north.


During an ice storm, looking southwest from West Main, ~1910.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


A view of the interior of the building, 1902.


Gilmore Ward Bryant conducting in the auditorium
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection - Wyatt Dixon Collection)

View from West Main Street, as it says, but actually facing south. (Conservatory Calendar, 1920-1921, Gilmore Ward Bryant papers retrieved from http://blogs.library.duke.edu/rubenstein/2017/06/02/polonaisesandmazurkas/ on 6.15.2017)


This postcard is likely from the 1910s or 1920s. The trees are more mature, and it appears that the balustrades have been removed from the building.

In 1924, the Conservatory moved way out in the country, to South Alston Avenue near Riddle Road. Bryant moved his family to a house across from the new conservatory. It appears that the original Conservatory was torn down soon thereafter.

A Texaco Station and the "Lewis' Cafe" were built on this site in subsequent decades.


Site of the conservatory, looking southeast towards the New Cigarette Factory, 1952, showing the Texaco Station and a corner of the Lewis Cafe.
(Courtesy Duke University, Lewis J. McNurlen Slide Collection)


Looking southwest during the 1953 Durham Centennial parade.
(Courtesy Barry Norman)


Aerial, 1959.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

These were then torn down ~1982 to become the parking lot for Brightleaf Square.

SouthernCons_West_2006.jpeg

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Washington Duke invited Gilmore Ward (GW) Bryant, to Durham to “bring more culture” to the city. Classes met in Wash’s home, Fairview, for two years before Benjamin Duke financed $30,000 for the construction of the school across the street.

Hook & Sawyer designed the tripartite, Italinate structure, which was featured prominently in many post cards of Durham. The south wing contained a vast practice room capable of holding 20 pianos. The practice hall had a prominent stained glass window with a depiction of St. Cecilia at the piano. The inscription read: “ And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that has a pleasant voice and can play an instrument.”

GW and his wife taught voice, piano, violin, cello, and harp performance– as well as music and poetry composition – to female-only students. By 1912 they had 169 ½ students. Concerts drew appreciative audiences over the years. The March 8, 1900 gala drew capacity crowds for a “Brilliant Opening Concert”. The seating capacity was 600 but it was reported that many more tickets (some 500 more) were sought.

For financial reasons, the Conservatory was moved in 1923 to South Alston Avenue near Riddle Road. A student of the Southern Conservatory of Music in 1924, Mrs. Mary Blackwell Pridgen Martin, remembers the move of the conservatory being influenced by something other than economic development of the area. She remembers that the school moved from Main Street “to the country to avoid flirting between its girls and the boys of Trinity College.” She went on to explain “G.W.B, a really strict but gifted man, was furious when ‘his girls’ leaned out of the second floor dormitory windows and waved, giggled and carried on with the Trinity students on the sidewalk below.”

The original building was demolished and replaced by a Texaco Station and the Lewis Café, before eventually becoming a parking lot.

 

mainstmethodist_1910.jpegMainStMethodist_1890.jpeg800WMain_W_0.jpegMainStMethodist1900.jpeg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/mainstchristian_1924.jpg

MAIN STREET METHODIST / MAIN STREET CHRISTIAN CHURCH

813
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1887
/ Modified in
1950-1960
,
1968
/ Demolished in
1982
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 08/16/2012 - 10:43am by gary

Location

35° 59' 58.6968" N, 78° 54' 33.3756" W

Comments

813
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1887
/ Modified in
1950-1960
,
1968
/ Demolished in
1982
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

mainstmethodist_1910.jpeg
Looking southwest from Main St. ~1900.

MainStMethodist_1890.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)
Main Street Methodist Church, located on the southeast corner of Main and Gregson Streets was built in 1887 on West Main St., west of the Duke Factory.

800WMain_W_0.jpeg
Looking west from the Southern Conservatory of Music, 1900s.

I love this turn-of-the-century picture for how much the landscape has changed - a great Durham scene that it took me awhile to identify. This is taken from somewhere around the location of the Down Under Pub, looking west/southwest. The chimneys on top of the Watts or Yuille warehouse (now Brightleaf Square) are visible just beyond the church.
MainStMethodist1900.jpeg
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

This building became the Main Street Christian Church in 1906 when the Methodist church moved to the northwest corner of S.Duke and W. Chapel Hill Streets, and the Christian Church moved from their previous building at Liberty and N. Queen Sts.


Main St. Christian Church, looking south from West Main St, 1924.

The area around the church built up considerably during the 1920s and 1930s into a far less residential and much more light industrial area.


Looking northwest from ~N. Duke St., 1948
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Sometime in the 1950s, the church built a new structure just to the east of the original sanctuary, replacing a frame building that appears to have been a house. The picture below shows the new structure just to the left of the original in 1962


Looking southeast from Gregson and West Main St.
(Courtesy Pilgrim United Church of Christ)


(Courtesy of The Herald-Sun)

mainstreetmethodist_060267.jpg

June 2, 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

mainstreetmethodist_2_060267.jpg

June 2, 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

MainStreetMethodist_1_0667.jpg

June 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

mainstmethodist_2_0667.jpg

June 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

mainstreetmethodist_3_0667.jpg

June 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

The original sanctuary of the church was torn down in February 1968. The congregation chose a new site on Academy Drive in 1961, and moved to that location in 1967.


Looking south from West Main St.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

mainstmethodist_0268.jpg

February 1968

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

mainstmethodist_2_0268.jpg

February 1968

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

That site became a parking lot. Although the sanctuary had been torn down, part of original church structure (at the back of the lot, which you can clearly see in the very first picture above to the left of the main sanctuary) and the 1950s structure were still standing in the early 1980s. I'm not sure what these were used for after the congregation departed.

MainStMethodist_1976.jpeg
Looking southeast towards the Durham Laundry Co.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

And below, this appears to be looking northwest towards later-Brightleaf Square and the 1950s structure.

mainstmeth.jpeg
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Below, looking southwest from the north side of West Main
St., 1981; the 1950s structure is the prominent brick structure on the south side of the street (in the foreground from the Watts and Yuille warehouses.)


(Courtesy Robby Delius)

Soon thereafter (~1981-2) these remaining structures were torn down as well by Terry Sanford Jr. to provide parking for his Brightleaf Square development. The congregation moved out to Academy Drive and

The picture below is taken from as close of a vantage point as was feasbile to the playground shot above.
MainStMethodist_2006.jpeg

While parking is a reality of life, it is really unfortunate to have the entire block front between Duke and Gregson as surface parking. If parking stays at this spot, I hope that at some point a parking structure is constructed with first-floor commercial/retail to enliven this streetscape more. Part of the problem is that this large parking lot is still several separate parcels, owned by several different owners who lease the space to Brightleaf for a good amount of money. Given that, there is not much incentive to change/invest in something better for the area.

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The Main Street Methodist Church was built in 1886, less than two blocks from the Duke Cigarette Factory, on land donated by Brodie Duke. All of the Dukes were involved with the life of the church, but none more than patriarch Washington Duke, who often could be seen leading Sunday school classes. The church provided both religious and educational guidance for the factory workers: an Epworth League reading room, a precursor to the public library, was established in the church in 1894 and was open every evening from 7 to 9:30pm.

It became Main Street Christian Church in 1906 when the Methodist congregation moved to its current location, at the northwest corner of South Duke and West Chapel Hill Streets. The area continued to become more and more industrial over the years. In the 1950s, the Christian Church congregation built another structure east of the original sanctuary. In 1960, the original sanctuary was torn down. The congregation (soon to be called Pilgrim UCC) had already chosen a new site on Academy Drive by 1961. The Main Street Christian Church congregation left for the new site by 1967.

Thereafter, the site of the Methodist Church became a parking lot. The remaining structures were torn down in 1981 -1982 by Terry Sandford, Jr. to make way for the Brightleaf Square parking lot.

Note: The entire Brightleaf Square Parking lot is several different parcels of land leased by different owners to Brightleaf Square.

 

/sites/default/files/images/2008_3/DurhamDairy_1920s.jpgdurhamdairy_1930s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_3/durhamdairyaerial_1948.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2008_3/durhamdairy_1949.jpgDurhamDairy_Chesterfield_1971.jpg

DURHAM DAIRY PRODUCTS

508
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1927
/ Demolished in
1971
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Use: 
,

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 09/19/2011 - 9:32pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 52.5156" N, 78° 54' 34.3368" W

Comments

508
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1927
/ Demolished in
1971
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Use: 
,

 


(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

I can't help but quote from the quirky little book "Durham and Her People" about Durham Dairy Products:

"Durham's era of modern dairy service started January 10, 1927, when Durham Dairy products made its first delivery. Almost overnight the community began a march of dairy progress which today rates as 'outstanding' in the South."

I'm not sure how one defines "dairy progress" (milk -> yogurt?) but you can get a sense that milk delivery was a big deal - and why not? Someone showing up at your doorstep in the city with fresh milk for the morning? What a modern convenience for city folk.

durhamdairy_1930s.jpg

Durham Dairy, 1930s

(Courtesy Gladys Glenn)


Looking east, 1948, at Durham Dairy on Memorial Street, with milk trucks parked at the back of the lot.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper


Durham Dairy, 1949.

The book goes on to note that Durham had been pining for "dairy service" and the Chamber of Commerce casting about to try to find some "experienced dairymen". Through the recruiting efforts of ET Rollins (of the Herald Sun) and RE Dillard ("agriculture leader") they were able to recruit CB Martin and VJ Ashbaugh, both graduates of the dairy school at Cornell University.

Durham Dairy appears to have kept going strong into the 1960s, and the building, at least, was still around in 1964. However, milk delivery had started to decline with changing shopping patterns and the rise of supermarkets, widespread car use, etc.

DurhamDairy_Chesterfield_1971.jpg

Durham Dairy trucks, 1971

(Courtesy Karl Stauber)

I'm not sure when the building was demolished, although it seems to have been gone by the 1980s - it could have been torn down much earlier - I just don't have documentation. It's now a parking lot for Duke Memorial Methodist


Looking northwest from Memorial Street, 12.09.07

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Quote from Durham and Her People: “Durham’s era of modern day service started January 10, 1927, when Durham Dairy products made its first delivery. Almost overnight the community began a march of dairy progress which today rates as ‘outstanding’ in the South.”

Through the effort of ET Rollins (Herald Sun) and RE Dillard (agricultural leader), CB Martin and VJ Ashbaugh (both graduates of the Cornell University Dairy School) were recruited to bring Durham Dairy Products and milk delivery to Durham.

Dairy service was provided until the 1960s when supermarkets and automobiles changed the way homemakers shopped. The building was gone by the 1980s. It is now a parking lot for Duke Memorial Methodist Church.

 

/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/YWCA_SE.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/wchst500sanborn.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/ywca_~1940s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/TopsSS_Duke_WCHSt_4356.jpgWestEndAerial1959.jpeg

YWCA

513
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1926
/ Demolished in
1973-1975
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:19pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 48.2028" N, 78° 54' 35.9568" W

Comments

513
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1926
/ Demolished in
1973-1975
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 


Looking south/southeast from the north side of W. Chapel Hill St.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

 

Copyright Sanborn Fire Insurance Company

The Durham chapter of the YWCA was established in 1920 at 303 1/2 West Main St. (the Sparger Building,) upstairs from the Charles Department Store. Mrs. IF Hill was at the forefront of the drive to establish the organization, starting with a group of women and 0 associated with a "Council of Defense" during the First World War. The initial organization was affiliated with the nearest branch, in Richmond, VA. The national organization set an initial fundraising goal of ,000; the local organization raised ,000 in four days.

Classes were established, and meals were served twice a day. The group focused on substandard housing and living conditions in the community as their initial community outreach.

Interestingly, the constitution specified that the organization needed to have a Board of Trustees consisting of 5 men and 2 women. I suppose that quick ,000 came with strings attached.

The centennial edition of the Herald gives partial credit to the organization for the formation of the Harriet Tubman YWCA on Fayetteville St., formed in 1922.

By 1923, the group's needs had clearly outgrown the building. Mrs. JC Angier was chair of a fundraising campaign to establish permanent quarters for the group.\
Open land at the southeast corner of South Gregson and West Chapel Hill Sts. was donated by John Sprunt Hill; ground was broken for the new Georgian style building in September 1926.

Another view, below, from the late 1940s or early 1950s. In looking at the roofline, it appears there may have been a wing added to the east side.


(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

Two of the large houses to the east of this house (pre-1913) were torn down in the early 1950s for a gas station.

Per the Herald in 1953 - and written with seemingly typical for the time purposeful vagueness:

"Again in 1950-51, to meet the needs of its advancing program, the YWCA conducted a building campaign for 5,000, headed by Marvin Fowler and Eugene Carlton and work began on a new building for the Branch Y and a new wing for the Central Association in July of 1952. These buildings will reach completion in a few months and will afford the association more opportunities to answer ever-present needs...."

The article later refers to the Central Branch - but never defines the Central Association, the Central Branch, or the Branch Y. So I'm not sure if there was a new YWCA built in 1952-3, or an addition added to the West Chapel Hill St. building, or both. It does appear that, by the late 1950s, an addition had been built on the south side of the building at West Chapel Hill St.


Looking southwest from South Duke and West Chapel Hill, April 1956 - the Y can be seen down the block.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

This service station was replaced with the Home Security Life Insurance Company building (current police department) in 1957.. It and the YWCA co-existed for some period of time, as can be seen on this aerial view from 1959. (You can see the L-shaped building just to the left of the sizeable insurance building).

WestEndAerial1959.jpeg

It was still there after the Freeway had been gouged through just to the west.

From Gregson and the Freeway, looking northeast, 1967
(Courtesy Herald Sun)

It's now a parking lot.

oldywcavac2006.jpeg

I don't know when the YWCA was torn down, but it appears to have been around 1970. I do know that the trees that were once in front of the building were still here until about 5 years ago (and huge at that point), when the police department decided to cut them down. I guess because this corner wasn't ugly enough. The irregular grass in front was to accommodate these trees. The small walkway to the front entrance of the Y is still there, but that's about it.

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The Durham chapter of the YWCA was organized in 1916 and rented rooms above the Charles Department Store at 303 ½ West Main Street. It was so successful that it quickly outgrew its location. Mrs. JC Angier chaired the fundraising group for a permanent YWCA headquarters in 1923. The YWCA was unable to secure funding from several local industrialists, including the reliably munificent Benjamin Duke, because it was, along with the League of Women Voters, investigating cases of child labor in factories. John Sprunt Hill, however, donated an empty lot at the corner of South Gregson Street and West Chapel Hill Street

Construction began in September 1926 for the new Georgian Style YWCA Building. The building continued to grow as a second wing was added to the east side of the building by the late 1940s or early 1950s. In addition to providing educational, cultural, and religious programming for single working women, as well as a place to live, the YWCA also engaged in outreach activities. During the Second World War, the YWCA recruited girls to entertain GIs “and provide a place where they could play games and dance.”

After the tumultuous 1960s, the YWCA hosted a Rape Crisis Center, a Battered Women’s Coalition, and the Triangle Area Lesbian Feminists. The building was torn down around 1976. Mature trees remained at what was the entrance, marked today by a variation in the sidewalk, until the Police Department removed them around 2001.

 

/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/BlackwellHouse_1880s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/westendbirdseye2.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/memorialmethodist.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/WCHST_SANBORN_1913.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/DukeMemorialAddition_010864.jpg

WILLIAM T. BLACKWELL HOUSE

502
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1875
/ Modified in
1907
/ Demolished in
1907-1930
Builders: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

The house of the man whose name was inextricably linked with "Bull Durham" - moved for a Duke-funded church after the once-wealthy tobacco magnate lost everything.

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:07am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 49.812" N, 78° 54' 33.0804" W
US

Comments

502
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1875
/ Modified in
1907
/ Demolished in
1907-1930
Builders: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

In 1869, W.T. Blackwell partnered with John Green and John Day in the partnership that sparked the creation of Blackwell's Durham Tobacco Company. When joined by Julian Carr in 1871 (whose houses, Waverly Manor and Somerset Villa, I've posted on before) they expanded rapidly, becoming a major tobacco empire. In 1874, they built their Italianate factory building, which still stands at the north end of the American Tobacco Complex.

In 1875, W.T. Blackwell built himself a house at the high point of the ridge to the northwest, along the western portion of Green St., which was later renamed Chapel Hill Street, at the northwest intersection with Lee St., later Duke St.


(Courtesy Durham County Library)

(WT Blackwell's house bears somewhat of a resemblance to J.S. Carr's Waverly Manor. I'm not sure if this was deliberate imitation or simply the popularity of the Italianate style).

In the early 1880s, he fought to open the first Durham Graded School, personally paying the salaries of the teachers when funding failed. In 1886, he retired from his namesake tobacco company and started the Bank of Durham, which failed utterly in 1888, eliminating his assets. He continued to live in the house on West Chapel Hill St. and served in city government through the 1890s


The West End, 1891. WT Blackwell's house is on the northwest corner of Lee St. (now Duke) and Chapel Hill St. (As an aside, the only structures in the picture still standing today are the Duke Factory and some small houses on Gordon and Yancey Sts.)
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The congregation at Main St. Methodist church (also posted on previously) was growing rapidly at the turn of the century and needed larger space. In 1906, they acquired Blackwell's house and property and moved the house. (My guess, from looking at the Sanborn maps, is that they moved the house across Duke St. and north of the corner, turning it so that it faced west.)

In 1907 they began work on their new church, which they called Memorial Methodist, a large steel-framed structure designed by an architect in New York. It was completed and occupied for its first service in 1912.


(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Sanborn map showing the church with the surrounding residential area. The Southern Conservatory of Music and the former church home at Main St. Methodist are shown on the lower right.
(Copyright Sanborn Company)

The church changed its name in 1925 to Duke Memorial Methodist, in honor of its primary benefactor, Washington Duke.
The church facility expanded westward in 1930 with the Gothic Revival Elementary Department, demolishing the two houses that stood to the west of the church, and again in 1964 with the Education Facility:


01.08.64.

- creating the current church campus that extends from Duke St. to Gregson St.

The church in December 2006:


Looking northwest, 01.30.08

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WT. Blackwell (partners with John Day and Julian Carr of Blackwell’s Old Durham Smoking Tobacco) built his house at the high point of a ridge to the northwest of his factory - along the western portion of Green Street (later renamed Chapel Hill Street.) and Lee Street (later renamed Duke Street). This Italianate Style home bore a resemblance to that of Carr’s Waverly Manor.

Blackwell served his community - fighting to open a graded school in the early 1880s and even paying teachers’ salaries, retiring from his Tobacco Company in 1886 and starting the Bank of Durham in 1886, and serving in city government even after the Bank failed in 1888. Blackwell continued to live in his house until the growing Main Street Methodist Church congregation acquired it in 1906.

The house was moved – probably across the street - in 1906 and work began on the church in 1907. It was to be a large steel-framed structure designed by a New York architect. The congregation took up residence in its new home in 1912. It was renamed Duke Memorial Methodist Church in 1925 after benefactor Washington Duke. The old WT Blackwell house, on the other hand, provided shelter to a transient band of students and widows, until it was finally dismantled sometime in the late 1930s.

 

/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/terrace_EChapelHill_1900.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/terrace_1910.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/terrace2.jpgfouracres3.jpeg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/FourAcres_S_1910s.jpg

THE TERRACE

411
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1887
/ Modified in
1911
/ Demolished in
1939
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 03/26/2017 - 9:52am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 47.5152" N, 78° 54' 29.4696" W
US

Comments

411
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1887
/ Modified in
1911
/ Demolished in
1939
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

The block bounded by West Chapel Hill Street, Willard Street, Duke Street, and Jackson Street was the location of two different houses of Benjamin N. Duke, brother of James B. Duke and Brodie L. Duke. In the 1880s, he constructed 'The Terrace' on this block - a large frame Queen Anne Victorian structure with a tower, as was popular on many contemporaneous structures.


Looking east down West Chapel Hill St. ~1910.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)


Looking east-southeast down West Chapel Hill St. ~1910.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


From "Durham: A Pictorial History" by J. Kostyu

In 1911 , this structure was moved across West Chapel Hill Street (to the north side of the street, at 404 West Chapel Hill Street) to make way for the construction of 'Four Acres.'
fouracres3.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

'Four Acres' was a large, Chateauesque Revival structure designed by Charlotte architect C.C. Hook and constructed of granite and brick. It bore a strong resemblance to another structure in Durham - actually still standing - also built by C.C. Hook at approximately the same time - Greystone, built for James Stagg (who worked with BN Duke), is not as large of a structure, but is very similar in style.


(Courtesy State Archives)


(Courtesy UNC)

fouracres1.jpeg
The back door.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

fouracres4.jpeg
The grounds.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Radiator
4acreshall.jpeg
Hallway

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

After B.N. Duke and his wife died in the late 1920s-1930s, the house passed to Duke University, who used the house as a guesthouse and reception area for 30 years.

The Terrace, then at 404 West Chapel Hill Street, became the residence of the NE Green family.


Looking northwest from near the intersection of West Chapel Hill St. and Pettigrew, 1910s-1920s.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The Terrace is visible on the north side of the street, center of the photo.

It survived until 1939 when, having failed to secure tenants for the property for several years, the owners decided to raze it. It was replaced by Flintom's Esso Station.

 

In 1960, the University decided to sell the Four Acres propertyand building, and it was demolished soon thereafter for the construction of North Carolina Mutual's new office building.


The front entrance in winter, not long before the house was torn down.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)


The demolition of Four Acres.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Demolition.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

Interestingly, urban renewal took the outside edge of the property, including the fence. This appraisal photo from 1963 shows the property from the front of Duke Memorial Methodist looking southeast at the intersection of S. Duke and W. Chapel Hill Sts.


(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The North Carolina Mutual company began construction of their modern office building in 1964, as they had outgrown their historic headquarters on W. Parrish St.


Groundbreaking, with sign atop the Four Acres fence, 1964
(North Carolina Mutual Archives)

They hired architects Welton Becket Associates of Los Angeles, who had already completed multiple iconic modernist structures throughout the country - in part because of their racially-equitable hiring practices. Welton Becket worked with NC architect Marion Ham; Ham had previously worked with Edmund J. Austin in Southern Pines.


Elevator tower completed, 01.08.64
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

Mutual_1964.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

N.C. Mutual building under construction, 1964 - looking northwest from Willard and Jackson Sts. The iron fence that surrounded Four Acres hasn't been taken down yet.


The completed building, looking northwest from near Willard and Jackson, 1966.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Looking northeast from Vickers and Yancey, late 1960s. The Washington Duke Hotel can be seen to the right.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Aerial view from above West Chapel Hill St., 1960s.
(Courtesy Chris Graham)

The building was completed to much acclaim; it was named one of Forbes' ten outstanding buildings of 1966 and one of Fortune’s top ten buildings of the decade.

However, sometimes bold design is a bit too bold for the harsh nature of reality - i.e. gravity. If you look at older pictures of the building, you'll notice that there was no corner bracing in the original design. Each floor was designed to be cantilevered from the center so that the corners could be glass. It seems that Welton Becket and Mr. Ham made a boo-boo, though, and the floors sagged. The corners had to be retro-fitted with structural concrete to hold up the floors, all the way down to the unfortunate addition of corners supporting the first floor.

ncmutual1.jpeg
NC Mutual Building, 2006.


11.07.09

What was a special modernist structure became fairly pedestrian after the loss of the cantilevered floors. It's not a bad structure, design-wise, but the heaviness of the concrete was previously mitigated by the fact that the floors 'floated.' Now it just looks more like a stolid lattice. The site plan is weak - creating a lot of dead space around the building that, while not overtly pedestrian-hostile, isn't exactly inviting.

What I can't get past is the demolition of Four Acres in order to build it. I'm not sure if the site had a certain symbolism, but the loss of the grand Ben Duke house was a deep wound for Durham - imagine if it were a Durham history museum today, or simply a tourist attraction.

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In May 1887, Benjamin Duke paid $8,000 (roughly $250,000 in 2009 dollars) to have a Queen Anne Victorian home, named The Terrace, constructed catty-corner to the home of once-time rival WT Blackwell. Byron Pugin designed the house (he also designed the first Durham County Courthouse), which was equipped with many of the most modern conveniences: a furnace, hot and cold running water, and electric lights. Ben and Sarah’s daughter, Mary Duke Biddle – who followed the footsteps of her family’s philanthropy and formed the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, was born in this house.

Little more than 10 years later, Ben Duke decided to build a much larger home on the same site and moved The Terrace across Chapel Hill Street. At that location, The Terrace was home for many years to the Green family. The father, Nathaniel, was a manager at the American Tobacco Company, located just a few blocks to the east. It was demolished around 1940.

An Esso gas station took up residence on this lot but, today, the station stands empty, awaiting new life as a surface parking lot for an as-yet unfunded Triangle Transit railway station.

 

fouracres3.jpeg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/terrace_EChapelHill_1900.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/terrace_1910.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/terrace2.jpgfouracres3.jpeg

FOUR ACRES - B.N. DUKE HOME

411
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1911
/ Demolished in
1961
Builders: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Built on a full 4 acre block, and replacing his earlier mansion, "The Terrace," Four Acres was Benjamin Duke's chateau-esque estate in the core of Durham. After Duke's death in 1929, the house became an event venue / alumni house for Duke University, until they cast it aside in the 1960s. It was demolished in 1961 and replaced with the NC Mutual tower.

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 02/17/2013 - 5:13pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 46.626" N, 78° 54' 29.3148" W
US

Comments

411
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1911
/ Demolished in
1961
Builders: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

fouracres3.jpeg

Four Acres, 1920s

 

The block bounded by West Chapel Hill Street, Willard Street, Duke Street, and Jackson Street was the location of two different houses of Benjamin N. Duke, brother of James B. Duke and Brodie L. Duke. In the 1880s, he constructed 'The Terrace' on this block - a large frame Queen Anne Victorian structure with a tower, as was popular on many contemporaneous structures.


Looking east down West Chapel Hill St. ~1910.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)


Looking east-southeast down West Chapel Hill St. ~1910.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


From "Durham: A Pictorial History" by J. Kostyu

In 1911 , this structure was moved across West Chapel Hill Street (to the north side of the street) to make way for the construction of 'Four Acres.'
fouracres3.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

'Four Acres' was a large, Chateauesque Revival structure designed by Charlotte architect C.C. Hook and constructed of granite and brick. It bore a strong resemblance to another structure in Durham - actually still standing - also built by C.C. Hook at approximately the same time - Greystone, built for James Stagg (who worked with BN Duke), is not as large of a structure, but is very similar in style.


(Courtesy State Archives)


(Courtesy UNC)

BNDukeResidence_4acres_pcard.jpg
The back door.
(Courtesy UNC)

fouracres4.jpeg
The grounds.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Radiator
4acreshall.jpeg
Hallway

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

After B.N. Duke's death in 1929, the house passed to Duke University, who used the house as a guesthouse and reception area for 30 years.

fouracres_planter_080956.jpg

08.09.56

(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

fouracres_pergola_080956.jpg

08.09.56

(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

In 1960, the University decided to sell the property and building, and it was demolished soon thereafter for the construction of North Carolina Mutual's new office building.


The front entrance in winter, not long before the house was torn down.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

FourAcres_rear_013161.jpg

The rear, just before teardown. 01.31.61

(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

fouracres_1_demo1.jpg

Four Acres, 1961

fouracres_demo2.jpg

Four Acres, 1961

fouracres_garage.jpg

Four Acres, 1961

FourAcres_demo3.jpg


The demolition of Four Acres.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Demolition.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

Interestingly, urban renewal took the outside edge of the property, including the fence. This appraisal photo from 1963 shows the property from the front of Duke Memorial Methodist looking southeast at the intersection of S. Duke and W. Chapel Hill Sts.


(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The North Carolina Mutual company began construction of their modern office building in 1964, as they had outgrown their historic headquarters on W. Parrish St.


Groundbreaking, with sign atop the Four Acres fence, 1964
(North Carolina Mutual Archives)

They hired architects Welton Becket Associates of Los Angeles, who had already completed multiple iconic modernist structures throughout the country - in part because of their racially-equitable hiring practices. Welton Becket worked with NC architect Marion Ham; Ham had previously worked with Edmund J. Austin in Southern Pines.


Elevator tower completed, 01.08.64
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

Mutual_1964.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

N.C. Mutual building under construction, 1964 - looking northwest from Willard and Jackson Sts. The iron fence that surrounded Four Acres hasn't been taken down yet.


The completed building, looking northwest from near Willard and Jackson, 1966.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Looking northeast from Vickers and Yancey, late 1960s. The Washington Duke Hotel can be seen to the right.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Aerial view from above West Chapel Hill St., 1960s.
(Courtesy Chris Graham)

The building was completed to much acclaim; it was named one of Forbes' ten outstanding buildings of 1966 and one of Fortune’s top ten buildings of the decade.

However, sometimes bold design is a bit too bold for the harsh nature of reality - i.e. gravity. If you look at older pictures of the building, you'll notice that there was no corner bracing in the original design. Each floor was designed to be cantilevered from the center so that the corners could be glass. It seems that Welton Becket and Mr. Ham made a boo-boo, though, and the floors sagged. The corners had to be retro-fitted with structural concrete to hold up the floors, all the way down to the unfortunate addition of corners supporting the first floor.

ncmutual1.jpeg
NC Mutual Building, 2006.


11.07.09

What was a special modernist structure became fairly pedestrian after the loss of the cantilevered floors. It's not a bad structure, design-wise, but the heaviness of the concrete was previously mitigated by the fact that the floors 'floated.' Now it just looks more like a stolid lattice. The site plan is weak - creating a lot of dead space around the building that, while not overtly pedestrian-hostile, isn't exactly inviting.

What I can't get past is the demolition of Four Acres in order to build it. I'm not sure if the site had a certain symbolism, but the loss of the grand Ben Duke house was a deep wound for Durham - imagine if it were a Durham history museum today, or simply a tourist attraction.

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CC Hook, an architect from Charlotte, designed Ben Duke’s new home, Four Acres, as well as the similar and nearby Greystone (which is still standing at the northeast corner of Vickers and Morehead Avenues). Four Acres was a sprawling, 3-story, 20-room, Chateauesque Revival mansion of granite and brick, and cost $136,000 to erect (roughly $3M in 2009 dollars). The grounds contained a pergola, lily pond, and an orchard, and were not quite the four acres it claimed to be.

After Duke and his wife, Sarah P, passed (in 1929 and 1936, respectively), Mary Duke Biddle gave Four Acres to Duke University. From 1938 through 1960, it served as a meeting space, reception area, and guesthouse named “University House”. The Trustees of the Duke Endowment met here, as well as the Campus Club, which held monthly tea parties and sponsored a Newcomers Club for the wives of newly hired faculty and administrative officers. Events such as the “Mother-Daughter Spring Weekend” and the “Freshmen Reception” (for 1000 people) were held here. In its function as a guesthouse, the old Four Acres played host to dignitaries such as Richard Nixon, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Robert Frost, who slept in the six bedrooms of the second floor.

In late1960, builder Roy C. Thurman (of Washington DC) purchased the mansion from Duke U for $362,500 and quickly sold it to the NC Mutual Life Insurance Company for a tidy $60,000 profit. Faulty wiring and expensive upkeep may have played a role in the University’s decision to divest itself of the mansion. The building was soon razed, although the contents were scavenged by Durhamites. It is not uncommon to see a window, mantel, staircase, or door from Four Acres in other historic buildings throughout Durham.

On 2 April 1966, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey helped to christen the new, modern NC Mutual building. The structure, designed by Welton Becker of Los Angeles, was lauded in Fortune magazine as one of the 10 outstanding new buildings appearing in the nation that year. The City was happy to have the property back on the tax rolls.

 

/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/fairview_1895.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/DukeFactory_1870.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/Fairview_WestfrmOldCig_1890s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/DukeFactory_Fairview_1890s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/Fairview_East.jpg

"FAIRVIEW" (WASHINGTON DUKE HOUSE)

606
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1888
/ Demolished in
1915-1919
People: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Fri, 02/03/2012 - 8:58am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 54.7944" N, 78° 54' 29.394" W
US

Comments

606
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1888
/ Demolished in
1915-1919
People: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

The site just to the west of the first Duke Factory was Washington Duke's first in-town home.


(Durham Historic Inventory)

In 1884, Duke built a new brick factory, just to the east of his house and original factory. In 1888, he built a new house, which he called Fairview.


Looking west, with the old factory building to the right. The steeple of Main Street Methodist Church is just visible above the roof of Fairview.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

And soon after, his new factory.


The view from the Southgate Jones property, looking northwest at Fairview, the old house, the old factory, and the new factory.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Soon thereafter, the older house (and factory) were torn down.


Facing Northeast, from Peabody and Duke Sts.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Looking north from Peabody
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

And a closer view of the house, from Peabody looking north.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Washington Duke died in 1905; Miss Annie Roney is listed at the house in 1908. In 1915, an "SP Skinner, tobacco buyer" is listed at the address. Sometime between 1915 and 1919, Fairview was torn down, and the L&M offices were built on part of the site. This view is looking southeast, with the offices in the one story building to the right.
dukefactory3_0.jpeg
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

This aerial shot shows the offices just to the west (left edge of frame) of the main factory building.
LMaerial_0.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Before construction of the New Cigarette Factory, L&M moved the office building across Main Street.

L&MOfficeMove_062846.1_0.jpeg
Looking east, 06.28.46
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

L&MOfficeMove_062846.4_0.jpeg
Looking west-southwest, 06.28.46
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

L&MOfficeMove_062846.5_0.jpeg
Looking south, 06.28.46
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

L&MOfficeMove_062846.3.jpeg
Looking southeast, 06.28.46
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

L&MOfficeMove_062846.2.jpeg
Looking southwest, 06.28.46
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

For a brief period, the future site of the New Cigarette Factory served as a parking lot.


Shot from the Durham Ice Cream company building, looking southeast towards the intersection of Duke and Main Streets. The former entry stair to Fairview is visible at the corner - 1947.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)


The Old Cigarette Factory from the site/parking lot, prior to decapitation - looking east - 1947.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

Ground was then broken on the New Cigarette Factory; the office building is visible on the other (north) side of West Main St.
dukefactory4_0.jpeg
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection - Wyatt Dixon Collection)

A view of the building under construction. The current Brightleaf area is in the background, with Main Street Methodist Church and other businesses in view on the site of the Brightleaf parking lot.

(Courtesy Duke Archives)


Nearly completed, looking northeast (with the Old Cigarette Factory just to the east, still un-shrunken.)
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Strike at the construction of the New Cigarette Factory, 05.18.49
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

This view shows the completed New Cigarette Factory.
dukefactories_aerial_NW_1950.jpg
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The factory building hosted tours for the general public; numerous promotional postcards were produced, featuring the New Cigarette Factory.

An aerial view of the building for a postcard, looking southeast.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Postcard of the New Cigarette Factory
(Courtesy The University of North Carolina)


Postcard of the New Cigarette Factory
(Courtesy The University of North Carolina)


Looking southeast from West Main St., 1952
(Courtesy Duke University)


New Cigarette Factory, 07.31.58
(Courtesy The Herald Sun)

Production of cigarettes dwindled towards the end of the 20th century. I'm not sure when production actually ceased at the New Cigarette Factory, but it was fairly moribund by the 1990s, and Liggett left for good in 2000.


Liggett Complex, 08.05.92
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

While the building has, to my aesthetic, a certain brutal and unforgiving utilitarian bulk, this was somehow mitigated by the iconic Chesterfield sign that sat atop the building, facing west. The bright red sign with three-dimensional cigarette pack, welcoming visitors, went a long way to cheering the face of the dour structure. Unfortunately, this was replaced in the mid-1980s with the corporate and utterly soulless black billboard with the Liggett and Myers name and logo.

The building, looking southeast from Duke and Main Streets, Fall 2006

The fate of this building was in the balance for awhile, but the Blue Devil Ventures folks decided to keep the building and develop it as residential space. The plan has been to cut a 'light shaft' down the center of the building to create a courtyard/open space in the center and open up some more window space on the sides. My understanding is that, in the 'divorce' between partners in Blue Devil Ventures, custody of the New Cigarette Factory (known to the partnership as 'West Village Phase III') went to now-former partner Tom Niemann. If they could put back the big red and white Chesterfield sign, I think that would be fantastic.


New Cigarette Factory from the West Village parking deck, looking south, 05.24.08

In early 2009, the city (with an assist provided by some Federal funding) moved towards improving the streetscape between the loop and Duke Street - giving the streetscape much the same treatment provided to in-loop sidewalks, utilities, etc.

Find this spot on a Google Map

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Washington Duke built Fairview in the 1880s. Albert Ernest Wilkerson designed the home. Wilkerson was an amateur architect who drew up the blueprints for the Main Street Methodist Church, as well as the Bishop’s house on Duke’s East Campus (which sits in the corner closest to Buchanan Boulevard and Markham Avenue). It was a large Victorian house, a very popular style with the tobacco and textile magnates who were coming to power in Durham in that decade. It was also situated directly alongside Duke’s factory. Such proximity between work and home life was common for the industrialists of the late 19th Century.

Two of Wash’s three adults sons lived nearby: the eldest, Brodie, lived to the northwest in a mansion located where the Durham School of the Arts is today. Benjamin, when he wasn’t living on Fifth Avenue in New York City, made a home on the southeast corner of West Chapel Hill and South Duke Streets. The youngest son, Buck, never spent much time in Durham after the family business blossomed in the early 1880s. After Wash’s daughter, Mary Duke Lyon, died at the age of 39 in 1893, his Lyon grandchildren came to live at Fairview.

Duke renovated and allowed the Southern Conservatory of Music to operate out of Fairview for its early years between September 1898 and 1900. The following year of 1901, dashing young George Lyon – Wash’s grandson – could often be seen zooming around Fairview in his automobile – the first of its kind in Durham.

Old Wash died in 1905 and the Lyon family continued to live in Fairview for some time. Eventually, though, the house was razed to make way for the Liggett & Myers Research Building, in which the tobacco leaf was placed under scientific scrutiny. In 1946, the Research Building was moved across Main Street and replaced on this site by the Chesterfield cigarette factory. Plans exist to convert it into residential, commercial, and office space.

 

/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/FireStation2_HandSrendering_1902.jpgFireSt2_2_1910.jpegFireSt2_1910.jpeg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/cobb_obrien_fs2_1910s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/Liggett_NW_1920s.jpg

FIRE STATION #2

612
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1902
/ Demolished in
1951
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 06/26/2012 - 7:13pm by gary

Location

35° 59' 55.4532" N, 78° 54' 24.534" W

Comments

612
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1902
/ Demolished in
1951
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

The original Fire Station #2 was constructed on the north side of West Main Street, across from the W. Duke & Sons cigarette factory between 1888 and 1893. The original building was a frame structure with a reservoir at the rear of the building. The building was located on Duke Co. land through a lease arrangement with the company, wherein the tobacco company built the structure. The Independent Hose Company #2, a group of volunteer firefighters who owned their own equipment (except for the hoses, which the city owned) manned the station, and Duke company provided 0 per month to feed the horses. The city agreed to buy a new truck and two horses, and employ a driver.

When the volunteer company was disbanded, Captain Bradsher of the fire department formed Hose Company #2, outfitted with new city-owned equipment, except for two horses (Frank and Ben) 'transferred' from the African-American hook and ladder company to company #2.

By 1902, the frame building was considered outmoded, and a new structure was commissioned. It was built in 1902-3, opening on August 3 , 1903; W. Duke and Sons contributed 00 to its construction. It was designed by Charlotte architects Hook and Sawyer, who designed multiple early Durham structures. The station was the second brick fire station constructed, after the original fire station at N. Mangum and Holloway Sts.


Hook and Sawyer rendering of the fire station, 1902

The company posing in front of the building, 1910
FireSt2_2_1910.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

FireSt2_1910.jpeg
Fire Station, ~1920s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Fire Station #2 between the Cobb and O'Brien Warehouses, 1910s. This is one of the few pictures showing the Cobb warehouse prior to the addition of three upper floors to the building.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

This view from the 1930s show the fire station tucked between the two warehouses located on the north side of Main street.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Here it can be seen, obliquely, at ground level during shift change at Liggett and Myers.
LM_Shift_FireSt2_FayettevilleBus_1920s.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

And it was still standing post-1948, when the New Cigarette Factory was built (i.e. big blocky black-striped building).

(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Fire Station/Company 2 was relocated to a new station on Ninth Street in 1951, where it remains. The land, per the original lease agreement, reverted to the tobacco company.


Above, Fire Station #2 in 1951, as the company prepares to move to 9th St.
(Courtesy Barry Norman)


After the move to Ninth Street, 1951.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun)

The building was torn down sometime soon thereafter, and the site became an empty courtyard between Liggett Buildings.

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

And after renovations, 2008


Looking northwest, 05.25.08

I can understand why Liggett would have removed the fire station to have better access between their warehouse buildings, but what a shame - I love the similarities and contrast between the mission style fire station and the industrial Italianate warehouses around it.

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The original fire station #2, was built between 1888 and 1893 on Main Street across from the Duke Cigarette Factory. The frame building was built by Duke on Duke land. It was manned by a volunteer group who owned all of their own equipment except hoses owned by the city.

The volunteer company was disbanded and Company 2 was formed with new city-owned equipment. This upgrade also included two horses – Frank and Ben – from the African-American Company. The building was also upgraded.

Designed by Charlotte architects Hook & Sawyer (this team also designed the Southern Conservatory of Music), this brick mission style station (the 2nd brick station in Durham) was opened August 3, 1903. It was a two-story building with a five-story hose tower.

In July 1946, the Durham Morning Herald reported that a representative of the National Fire Underwriters had visited Durham and recommended that the city redistribute its fire stations throughout the city. Population growth in the city (and its suburbs) dictated that a new fire station be more centrally located. The station survived amidst tobacco factories until 1951, when the station was relocated to 1001 Ninth Street. Per the original lease agreement, the land was returned to the tobacco company. Soon after the move, the building was razed to form the open space between the Cobb and O’Brien Warehouses of the Liggett & Myers complex.

 

/sites/default/files/images/2010_4/wrightfactory.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2010_4/wrightfactory_041110.jpg

WRIGHT FACTORY / FIRST GRADED SCHOOL

,
Durham
NC
Built in
1870s
/ Demolished in
1893
People: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

Comments

  • Submitted by scott mitchell on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?

  • Submitted by gary on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 3:13pm

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In tours

Last updated

  • Wed, 08/03/2011 - 9:26pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 54.0312" N, 78° 54' 22.2264" W
US

Comments

,
Durham
NC
Built in
1870s
/ Demolished in
1893
People: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Wright Factory repurposed as Durham's first Graded School, 1880s.
(Courtesy Duke RBMC - Wyatt Dixon Collection)

Richard H. Wright has made multiple previous appearances on Endangered Durham - with reference to his involvement with Duke of Durham, Lakewood Amusement Park via Durham Traction Company, the Wright Corner, the Wright Machinery Company, the Wright Refuge for orphaned children, his tenure in the former EJ Parrish House on Dillard St., and his own country home Bonnie Brae.

Before any of those endeavors, Wright came to Durham to be a tobacco manufacturer. Born in 1851 in Franklin County, Wright ran a small general store and opened his first tobacco factory in Durham in the late 1870s. He began accumulating real estate during this time, which he would later subdivide for development via his Durham Consolidated Land and Improvement Company. When Washington Duke decided to retire in 1880, Wright purchased his share of the Duke and Sons Tobacco Company by mortgaging his real estate holdings to Washington Duke.

Thus engaged with the Duke Tobacco Company, Wright's former manufactory was no longer in use; when the battle in Durham over whether or not to establish a graded school system finally resulted in the affirmative in 1882, Wright's former factory seemed a viable candidate to house the school. During the summer of 1882, the Wright Factory was leased by the newly former Board of Education and remodeled as a school. (The first graded school for African-American children was established in 1885 in the Primitive Baptist Church on Fayetteville St.)

The building served as the graded school for white children until 1892 , when the first school building erected expressly for that purpose was built at the corner of Carr and Jackson Sts.

The Wright factory was demolished soon after the departure of the school - between 1892 and 1893, when Cigarette St. (which ran along the east side of the Old Cigarette Factory - then quite new) was extended northward across Main St. to Morris St. It was soon closed again with the expansion of the railroad sidings between the Globe Warehouse/Norfolk & Western Depot and the soon-to-be-built O'Brien Warehouse

Wright, as noted above and previously, would go on to many other business endeavors (his relationship with the Duke Company ended in 1885 in an acrimonious/litigious split.)


Site of the Wright Factory, similar vantage point to 1880s shot above, 04.11.10, with the O'Brien and Cobb buildings in the background.

Find this spot on a Google Map.

35.998376,-78.906146

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With the passage of a school bill in 1881, Durham town commissioners brought to vote a tax exclusively for a graded school. Revenue from whites would support white schools and that from blacks would support black schools. There was considerable opposition to this plan. Clearly, the black school would be under-funded and many white people were skeptical or fearful about subsidizing education for blacks. Private school supporters were threatened and a number of prominent citizens, including Washington Duke and E.J. Parrish, questioned the legality of the bill on racial terms. Grade school supporters were equally major players, including William Blackwell and Julian S. Carr. It was a contentious battle with issues defined by political ideology but voters favored the education tax.

The Durham Graded School opened on September 4, 1882 with 308 students in 9 grades and Professor E.W. Kennedy from Goldsboro as superintendent. The school was housed in a two-story tobacco factory building rented from Richard Wright (who had produced “Orange County Bright Leaf Smoking Tobacco”) and served only white students. Eugene Morehead chaired the First Graded School Committee and helped to bridge the gap between supporters and detractors.

In 1886 the NC Supreme Court ruled that the school tax was racially discriminatory, mandating that bond money be refunded. The funding shortfall left the school in danger of closing. School supporters, led by Blackwell and Morehead, rallied for the cause and raised funds to keep the school. Durham’s first graded school continued to operate on Main Street until a new two-story brick building was constructed on Dandy (later named Jackson) Street in 1892. The new school housed a library and an auditorium, both of which the old factory building lacked. The new school was later named for Morehead and remained in use until mid-20th century.

 

Comments

Back in 2009 I took the Durham Preservation Society walking tour called 'Ghost Buildings of Durham'. Our tour guide had some laminated photos on a clipboard. One of them was of the Hotel Carrolina. It was not the one featured on this website. In the photo he had, the entire staff of the hotel was lined up on the steps and veranda in uniform. I'm trying to get a copy of that photo. Any ideas how I might go about it?