126-130 West Parrish Street

35.996232, -78.901193

Year built
Year demolished
Construction type
Building Type
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The building at 126-130 West Parrish was likely built around 1902 - perhaps incorporating earlier structures. In 1923, it housed Byrd & Bryan, a predecessor to Stone Brothers and Byrd, and Tager Brothers, John Tager's clothing store.

Later, it became the longtime home of Kimbrell's Furniture. In September, 1955, it was destroyed by fire.

Looking northeast, 9/4/55.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

Looking northwest, 9/4/55.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

This view from late 1955, looking northeast, showing the burned-out Kimbrell's.

(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

By 1956, Kimbrell's has been torn down and turned into a parking lot.

A low aerial shot looking north on Corcoran St.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

By 1962, it and another building on W. Parrish St. are mostly demolished in preparation for construction of the Jack Tar Motel.

Looking northeast, 1962.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

By 1963, the first stage of the Washington Duke Motel is complete.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Attempting to compete in the motel era, the proprietors of the Jack Tar (nee Washington Duke) Hotel sought to expand with motel space, including an integrated parking garage and swimming pool. Note in particular the skybridge that connects the new motel with the Washington Duke Hotel, directly west across Corcoran. It is also interesting to note that the motel was built in stages. You can see the remaining older commercial structure at the southeast corner of East Chapel Hill St. and Corcoran in this photo. Its days were numbered.

Swimming pool at the Jack Tar, 09.08.63
(Courtesy The Herald Sun)

Swimming pool at the Jack Tar, 09.08.63
(Courtesy The Herald Sun)

By the late 1960s, the remaining older structure on the southeast corner of Corcoran and East Chapel Hill would be demolished as well, and the Jack Tar Motel would expand to take up the entire block face between Parrish and Chapel Hill Streets, and a large portion of the block bounded by those two streets, Corcoran, and Orange Street.

Looking north from Corcoran and Parrish, December 2006
I don't know if it functioned as a motel after the Washington Duke/Durham Hotel/Jack Tar Hotel went out of business, in the mid 1970s. It is currently owned by Ronnie Sturdivant, who also owns the empty former Holiday Inn on Chapel Hill St (Urban Merchant Center) and really seems to want Oprah. (It has become known as "The Oprah Building" in common Durham parlance.

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