526-532 East Pettigrew

35.98887, -78.897009

Cross Street
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Year demolished
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(Courtesy State of North Carolina Archives)

Above, looking south at the block of East Pettigrew between Henry Alley (intersecting street on the right) and Cozart St. (intersecting street next to Speight's service station, on the left) - circa ~1940s. 526-532 is the two-story structure next to Henry Alley.

526-532 East Pettigrew St. was one of the earlier commercial buildings constructed on East Pettigrew. It appears to have been constructed in the 1910s. In 1919, it housed the Hayti Barber Shop at 526 and Pettigrew Barber at 528. By 1922, 526 also housed the Wayside Ice Cream Parlor.

By 1930, 526 housed the Economy Meat Market, 528 the Hayti Barber Shop, 530 Royal Tailoring, and 532 the Star Cafe. By 1935, 526 housed Samuel Fagan Meats, and the Star Cafe has closed.

By 1938, it housed the New Deal Barber Shop and Royal Tailoring Company. In 1941, the Shepard Grocery (526), New Deal Barber Shop (528), a billiards parlor (530), the Upchurch Temple (530 1/2), and the Old Star Cafe (532).

By 1948, the billiards parlor, Old Star Cafe and temple had departed. Acme Shoe Repair had opened at 532. By 1950, 526 had become Isler's Hotel and Grill, 528 Beatty's Barber and Beauty Shop, 530 1/2 part of Isler's hotel, and 532 Shelley's Shoe Sch - ?(school)?.

In 1954, 528 had become the New Deal Barber Shop again, 530 Abraham Shaw's Valet shop, and 532 Dee's Sewing Shop. In 1957, 532 was the Guess Shoe Shop and 530 was vacant, but would become Trixie's Pool Room in 1959, and the Midway Sport Shop in 1961.

526 East Pettigrew and the corner of East Pettigrew and Henry Alley, 1970. Note the complete clearance south of the E. Pettigrew business strip.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

526 East Pettigrew, ~1970, looking more southeasterly.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

(My apologies on the following pictures. In my window of opportunity to scan these color negatives, I scanned them as positives, and was obliged to then try to invert them, which I have found to be a truly arduous endeavor. I've done my best.)

528 East Pettigrew, ~1970.

528-520 East Pettigrew, 1970.

528-520 East Pettigrew, 1970.

This building was torn down prior to 1972. The land remains vacant.

Site of 526-532 East Pettigrew, 09.04.08

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35.98887 -78.897009


The cumulative effect of these posts, all of which show that "the land remains vacant" is devastating. Thank you.

Ok, I'm not crazy. I lived in Durham as a child in the 60s and remembered going downtown and seeing doors on the second floor of buildings leading out to thin air. I was told I must have misremembered. These pictures vindicate me.

No disrespect intended, but this is how I remember downtown Durham -- rundown, neglected, depressing, and more than a litle scary (at least to a then-child's eyes.) It is like this all over?

Anon, I'd say many of the people who read this blog would describe the Hayti entries in two ways: one, the failure of Urban Renewal and, two, a giant missed opportunity for contemporary development.

All of these old storefronts *could* have been the foundation for a community of small business owners like the Alberta Street neighborhood on the north side of Portland, OR. (General info, here, and their Art Walk map, here.)

It's worked on Ninth Street; it's starting to take root in the Central Park area. Too bad we won't have the chance to build a community (a second time) along Pettigrew Street -- that density of commercial buildings doesn't exist in too many other Durham places.

I think this is very sad...History homes in the black community are being torn down and we loose our history. We have so many Black Americans that built this city and today...they are erased. Try to tear a house down in Trinity Park...Watts Street area. Won't happen. We need to band together and save our history.

Shelley's Shoe School was indeed a school! What a lost art. I recently tried to get  a pair of shoes repaired and there were only 3-4 people in the entire greater Triangle doing shoe repair. 


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