108 - 110 East Main Street

35.994709, -78.900391

Local historic district
National Register
Building Type
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Looking southwest from East Main St., 1908. 108-110 is in the left foreground.
(From "Images of America: Durham" by Stephen Massengill)

The remaining commercial structures in the 100 block of East Main St., like the structures profiled yesterday, housed a variety of retail and service businesses.

Above, a view of the entire block, ~1925. The corner building has been replaced by the Citizen's Bank building in the interim.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The 1940 view, above, shows several loan businesses and the Elliott Furniture Co.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Sometime in the 1960s, 110 East Main was torn down. 108 East Main may be the same structure with a modernized facade (and the location of Talk of the Town, a lonstanding downtown business we don't hear enough about in discussions of 'what's happening downtown.') 106 East Main was torn down, and a squat one story building built in its stead.

Looking southwest, 2007.


I would say that 106 East Main was taken down to one story, actually, by its appearance. I may be wrong, but it's just a theory!


Certainly could be. I surmised a teardown because of the plain-ness of the facade, more typical of a later building. I'd need to get back out there to look at the back of the building to get a better sense of it. Good theory!


Two thoughts: One, on Talk of the Town. The fact that we don't here more about it is a pretty sad indicator of how the conversation about development is still somewhat segregated. Granted, there are plenty of African-Americans involved in things like ABCD, but by and large they are those that have moved from outside. The old Durham black elite still move in different circles, and we've only integrated ourselves to a small degree at some of these higher levels of community development.

Second thought: BRING BACK THE WATCH! I love that thing. Someone get DDI to a) recruit a jewelry store downtown, and b) help them rebuild that giant pocketwatch. It makes me think of the giant clock on the street outside of Wick and Green Jewelers in Asheville, that's something of a downtown icon.


I agree, and I just don't know what the dynamic is - is TotT not involved by choice, or because folks haven't made an effort. Their cover seems a bit steep, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. But Ringside has been involved in downtown things, and their covers are steep as well. So I agree, and it's unfortunate that it remains separate.

I like the clock too; I think it couldn't hurt to reinstate a few lost elements like this.


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