316 Morgan St.

35.998244, -78.902277

Cross Street
Year built
Year demolished
Construction type
Building Type
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The north side of the 400 block of Morgan (between Morris and Roney) and the north side of the 300 block of Morgan (between Roney and Foster) contained primarily small, commercial structures. Morgan St., even more so than Chapel Hill St., contained fewer retail establishments and more industrial/service-oriented businesses.
The 300 block was primarily home to the DC May company, which sold paint and wallpaper. I think this building was really interesting, with its metal pitched roof above/behind the one-story brick facade.

This is a view of the back of the building, looking south.


Finally, a view of the block looking northeast, late 1960s.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

In 1986, a shiny new set of office buildings (twin towers) was proposed for this site.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Breaking ground was quite the celebratory affair.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Including demolishing the structures that survived urban renewal.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Roney St. was closed in the first block north of Morgan St. as well, and the two blocks cleared as a single site for construction.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The city, I believe, paid for a parking deck to be built below the building, and Frank Wittenberg built one out of two towers on the eastern part of the site.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Here is my attempt to take the entire streetscape, as viewed form the south side of Morgan St., 2006

I find this one of the most regrettable streetscape decisions in Durham. Two entire blocks, fronted by parking garage. I have no idea where the entrance to this building is. There are these odd touches, like a plaza atop the parking deck and the odd waterfall - none of which work. While this was a decision of 20 years ago, Durham remains behind the curve with parking structures in downtown: first floor retail is essential so you don't kill the streetscape.

The luxury condominiums to be built in the second tower have been supposedly been pre-selling for several years now. I'm dubious that this project will actually ever come to fruition. I'd rather see adapative reuse of the parking deck.

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