322 Roney St. - Durham Brazing And Welding

35.999806, -78.902097

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Looking north on Roney St. from East Chapel Hill St., late 1920s.
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection / Digital Durham)

The 300 block of Roney St. first developed as a residential street - the disparity in housing is striking as you compare Morris St., to the left in the above picture, and Roney, to the right.

As the warehouse district began to develop in the 1930s, housing was demolished to construct warehouse and light industrial uses.

Looking southeast, 1948. The two-story building in the center of the picture is the Montgomery-Aldridge warehouse, below.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

The Durham Brazing and Welding Works was the business located at 322 Roney from at least the late 1930s onward.

Looking north on Roney, 1965.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

Roney St. has been quite diminished at this point, having lost 2 blocks to the south and one block to the north. Thus the 300 block remains almost a place lost in time - a feeling reinforced by the various equipment and vehicles surrounding Durham Brazing and Welding. They, however, are one of the very few longstanding businesses in Durham still located in their original building, doing their original work. 

Looking southeast, 06.07.08.

Looking southeast, 06.07.08

Looking northeast, 06.07.08




I'm sure this will one day be another cool renovation and infill development, but I will miss that "timeless" feeling I always get when I walk back there. It could be the 1950s if you use your imagination. If you ever step inside the DB&W building, the sites and sounds are from another period as well.

The guys at Durham Welding and Brazing are great---real professionals who will do any quirky job an artist needs. They know what they're doing and charge for it, no cheap rates. Their work is worth it, always reliable and beautifully done. I wouldn't take any rush jobs to them; they're older men who don't move quickly. They were around when the business was young and have kept with it all their lives.

Ike, oldest brother, Lee (deceased),John, (John and Lee Identical Twins). Employees there in later years were Donnie (retired), Shorty (deceased), Chino (deceased).,
The business first started by Their father and uncle in location a few blocks north, then located later in current location. At one time the also had a blacksmith shop across the street from the brick building. Some of the finest people I have ever known. Honored to have them as friends. Ike still at work, John semi retired.

I am really fascinated by this building and would love to take a look inside. If anyone knows how to get in touch with the owners so that I can ask about it. I would greatly appreciate it.

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