1010 Worth St.

35.989417, -78.888686

Year built
Year demolished
Architectural style
Construction type
Local historic district
National Register
Building Type
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The Durham Housing Authority, owner of this property as of 2006, failed to renovate the property (or do anything with it) during their first several years of ownership. After several years of inaction, put this property out for sealed bid in August of 2008. They received a bid on the property, then rejected all bids because they hadn't received 3 bids on every property (after publicly opening the sealed bids.) They re-did the sealed bid process, but then decided that they didn't like the bids (too low) on this property, as well as 1007 Morning Glory, 903 East Main, and 905 East Main.

Fortunately, Scientific Properties (my company) managed to push on them enough to get 1007 Morning Glory consumated. As of 2011, that house was restored.

The Durham Housing Authority insisted that they planned to restore this house. Years of vacancy and vagrancy continued at this house. Pleas to erect a fence at the rear property line to prevent people from walking through the properties from East Main Street were brushed off. Finally, as of 2011, the good news was they had secured funding to restore the house. A year went by, but I've learned that's not unexpected in the world of HUD and DHA. Work finally started in August of 2012.



I was initially excited to see the progress on this after such a long wait.


But then this seemed pretty extreme when I saw it on 9.21.12. I posted it on Facebook with the comment that a Section 106 review has become an absolute joke. But then they just went and demolished the whole damned thing.



I strongly try to avoid sweeping political statements on this website, but the Federal government needs a serious reboot on housing. I've experienced nothing but frustration and unaccountability from Durham's local housing authority. They've done more to impede the restoration of the Golden Belt neighborhood in the 5 years I've been working in it than any of the slumlords.

In 2013, DHA began building a new house on this property

Yay for fake muntins. Thanks DHA.

08.23.13 (G. Kueber)


1010 Worth Street has been DESTROYED by the Durham Housing Authority. No doubt, if you ask them, they'll give us the same old tired excuse: "it was too far gone to save." If that's the case, perhaps they'd like to explain why they paid $47,000 for it six years ago? Or why they allowed it to deteriorate for six years before they did anything? The true answer is that the Durham Housing Authority is "too far gone to save." It is unaccountable, badly run, and ineffective. It is long past time to abolish these relics from the Truman administration and try new approaches to low and moderate income housing.

This is very disappointing, but under DHA's current leadership, not especially surprising. This just shouldn't have happened.

Jim Wise has posted an article in the Durham News about this, and I have to call b.s. on the Housing Authority's assertions that the house just kept collapsing on them due to "unforeseen conditions."

Any competent restorer could have renovated this house without making it collapse.  As is visible in the second picture from the bottom, the roof has been removed, as well as almost all of the siding - but the framing is straight and upright. How would you make it fall down by removing the floor joists? It is visible in the bottom picture that the floor is still present, but the studs, bottom plate, and top plate (and the historic, stabilizing diagonal bracing) are gone.

I'm not sure exactly where the problem started from, but it wasn't with the construction or condition of the house. The framing in this house was in good shape. I'm sure there was spot termite and water damage - but a contractor and owner that both 1) understood how to rehab a house and 2) wanted to rehab a house could have done so. Most likely, someone decided it was easier to make the house 'spontaneously' fall down so they could just slap up the new construction they are more comfortable with.


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