400-402 East Peabody

35.992016, -78.897479

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Year demolished
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Some of the buildings I've most enjoyed seeing re-done in other cities are train-related - stations/depots of course, but also the kind of wholesale companies that lined the railroad tracks in many cities. A line of these type of structures were spread along the railroad tracks along the 300 block of East Peabody St.

Looking east from the First National Bank building, 1920s - the structures begin with "MV Lawrence Wholesale." (A host of other interesting structures are visible in this shot - Carr's Somerset Villa straight ahead at the end of Peabody St., the tower of Hosiery Mill No. 1 beyond it, and the tower of the Commonwealth Cotton Co. to the right of the smokestacks.)
(courtesy Duke Archives)

The earliest of these structures were built ~1901 for the Thomas and Howard wholesale grocery company, which started that same year.

Thomas and Howard, looking south from Peabody, 1910.

Below, another view of these buildings from Dillard St. at the tracks, looking northwest, ~1920s.

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

In the 1920s, the largest of these structures, EH and MV Lawrence's Wholesale & Millers burned.

Looking northeast, 1920s
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

I profiled the MV Lawrence house, which was a few blocks away on Liberty St., a few months ago.



The entire row of 300 East Peabody - looking southwest from the top of the Sears building, 1950s

(Courtesy Nathan Adams)

402 East Peabody



(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

These buildings were torn down by Urban Renewal, and Ramseur St. was extended west through their former location to connect to the Loop just west of Roxboro. You can still see a forlorn stretch of the original East Peabody here today, just north of the current Ramseur St.

Looking southwest from South Queen and E. Peabody, 2007.

The section of East Peabody just to the east of this was taken over for parking lot by the Health Department. Originally Peabody stopped (as in the above 1920s photo at Dillard St., but after Somerset Villa was torn down, it was extended east to S. Elizabeth. Ironically, this is the stretch which survives - although it is likely to be snuffed out for the county parking lot.


Very cool pics, I love the first one especially. Too bad all those structures are gone; some of them (the ones with the awnings) remind me of some commercial buildings (in the Warehouse District?) down in New Orleans.


Indeed! As a native new orleanian, I concur. It particularly reminds me of them before many of them were redone - I can remember wandering down there just before the World's Fair in 84, and the place was mostly a ghost town of empty structures.


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