113-115 East Main Street

35.99482, -78.900011

Architectural style
Construction type
Local historic district
National Register
Building Type
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Looking northeast from the south side of the 100 block of East Main St., 1890s.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The first brick structures on the north side of the 100 block of East Main St. were built during late 1880s-early 1890s, including the midblock structures of 113-119 E. Main. 119 East Main notably included the Rawls Store, which later became the Rawls-Knight department store.

By the 1910s, the Rawls-Knight store had moved to 114 West Main St. and 119 East Main was occupied by the Royal Cafe, a popular establishment ("For Ladies and Gents".)

Looking northwest, ~1915. The Uptown movie theater is at the right. I can only make out "Poteat" on the facade of 117 E. Main, and haven't been able to correlate that with a business yet.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

In the early 1920s, 113-117 East Main was torn down and replaced with two new structures. 113-115 East Main was built in a style similar to others of the period in downtown Durham - a brick facade with small stone inlays - still present on buildings at Five Points and on West Chapel Hill St.

Looking northwest, 1924.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

By 1923, 113 housed The People's Store. By 1928, 113 housed Masters & Agee (?) and 115 Blomberg's Shop

By 1935, 113 housed F&F Shoe Co., 115 the Globe Jewelry Co.

Looking northwest, late 1930s

Looking west, northwest, 1940 (nothing like a movie title to help me pin down a date.)
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

By 1940, F&F Shoe Co. was at 113, and the Varsity Men's Shop was at 115. By 1952, Hutchins Shoe Co. was at 113; by 1960 113 had become the Children's Shop, a clothing store.

In the 1960s, all of the structures in this block to the west of this building were torn down, leaving an island of three structures.

Looking northwest, 2007.

I believe the westernmost structure is being renovated with upstairs residential unit(s?). These buildings are a great contribution to a walkable streetscape - there are just too few of them left in this block.


113-115 East Main, 09.10.11


Re 113 E Main St: "I believe the westernmost structure is being renovated with upstairs residential unit(s?)"
In fact, we renovated the whole building as essentially a single-family residence. We do have a small home office on the ground floor in front, and the renovation is configured so that future use variations are possible, but for now all of the building is our home.

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