204 Morris Street

35.998311, -78.90364

Cross Street
Year demolished
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204 Morris St., 1944
(Courtesy Bob Blake)

Part of that original wave of neighborhood description I've described as occurring on the immediate high areas close to the core of downtown, Morris St. was developed with residences during the 1880s, stretching from Five Points north to present-day Corporation.

204 Morris was a charming example of these early houses - with its somewhat unusual tri-gabled front to its window detailing (including that very tall center gable window.)

John Cox, "tobacconist" owned the house and lived there with his extended family by 1897. CH Burnette lived in the house by the 1910s-1920s.

By mid-century, much of the housing immediately north of downtown had been demolished for car-related uses - either parking or car-related businesses. The house at 204 Morris was a lone straggler amidst the sea of parking.

Looking east, 08.17.53
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

By the early 1960s, it was gone as well.

Looking north, 1963
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The adjacent commercial structures were demolished by the late 1960s, and the vast majority of the 200 block of Morris was devoted to parking.

Continuing the theme, the site of this house became part of the People's Security Building development in 1986 - with a two-block large city-built structured parking deck spanning from Morris to Foster, closing Roney.

204 Morris, site of the PSI Building groundbreaking
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

Under Construction, 1986.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)


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Are those Fairway billboards? :-)

The current building occupying that corner is the ugliest thing that I have seen Durham approve.

I worked in that building - it kinda grew on you, the interior views are spectacular, you feel you are always outside. And it does add interest to the skyline. Everyone knows where the "blue" building is in downtown Durham.

I rather like it. I especially like that they used some brick in it instead of making it all stainless and glass. The first time my husband saw Durham, he mentioned how much brick there was in the town, and that's always how I remember it.

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