607 Vickers Ave - Petty House

35.9964, -78.911598

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01.17.69 (Herald-Sun)

The 600 block of Vickers began as a residential block with the eastern end of the West End commercial district at its intersection with West Chapel Hill St. The larger houses along the ridgeline of West Chapel Hill continued to some extent within this first block away from the ridge and trolley line, but the houses were generally less elaborately detailed.

607 Vickers was occupied by Rosa Petty and Andrew Petty ("gatekeeper,") as well as Miss Clara O. Petty (tchr West Durham School) in 1915. In 1919, only Rosa was an occupant.

By the 1950s, West Chapel Hill had significantly transformed into a more commercial corridor, and small businesses had begun to supplant the houses in the first block south of that corridor.

1959 aerial shot of the 600 block of Vickers. Note the single story, flat-roofed commercial structures interspersed among the houses, as well as the Holiday Inn under construction at the right edge of the frame. (The big black thing in the upper left corner is part of a north arrow.) (Durham County Library)

Looking southwest, 1960. Small businesses are visible mostly on the east (near) side of the street. The hipped roof and back of 607 Vickers is visible close to the Holiday Inn (in the near right background)

The curve of the Durham Freeway through this part of the city in 1967 brought it in parallel with Vickers so that it would intersect West Chapel Hill St. at a right angle. Thus while the freeway removed the 700 block of Vickers, it curved to remove the entire west side of the street in the 600 block leaving the eastern side of the street intact.

Looking north, 1970. The green-ish roof of 607 Vickers is visible. (Courtesy Herald-Sun)

I don't know the original purpose of many of the businesses on this street, although the structure on the northeast corner of Jackson and Vickers was a Fidelity, later Wachovia, bank.

Today, the eastern side of the block has a motley asortment of offices - day care, a physician's office.

Looking northeast, 02.03.08. (Photo by Gary Kueber)

One house remains from the early character of this block, the house at 607 Vickers.

607 Vickers, looking east, 02.03.08 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

Despite the ongoing change around it, this house somehow perseveres, even with the demolition of the old Holiday Inn behind it in 2013.

02.27.13 (Photo by Gary Kueber)


Tiny historical tidbit: for several years (I think after the freeway construction, though), one of those small buildings housed Ladyslipper Music.

After their time on Vickers, Ladyslipper moved to Hillsborough Road, to the site of a former oil company - where hazardous waste mitigation required the oil company to pay for continuous air injection into the soil for ten years after their departure, to disperse the saturated waste. wonder what that did for the groundwater...

Durhamites do tend to make do with - or around - a lot of stupidity.

Prior to its Vickers locale, in the early '80s Ladyslipper was in that Bill Fields' brick building at the northwest corner of Gregson and Chapel Hill Streets. You know, the place that claims to offer historic apartments or something.

That complex (it's really two disparate buildings merged, I think) also used to house the local War Resisters League (Mandy Carter) and her NC Senate Vote '90 (anti-Helms work), along with some other leftie things I think (the Womens' Pentagon Action held a press conference there after its arms around the Pentagon action in '80).

The building that Home Insurance (I think), later the DPD replaced looks pretty interesting in this pic:

Any info on its history?

Upon closer inspection, I see that the Home Insurance Building is already there in the lower right hand corner.

So it appears that the interesting building was only replaced by more parking lot.

edna, the building at the SE corner of Vickers and West Chapel Hill Street was the Durham YWCA.

Endangered Durham: YWCA


Thanks for fielding that question! It was, indeed, the YWCA.


Great info - the building you're referring to is the Eloise; I wrote it up last year on this page.



Interesting about that being the YWCA. I had no idea (having arrived post parking lot). I just assumed that the Camelot Academy (on the west side of Gregson, between Proctor and Cobb) was always the YWCA (as it was when I hit town)...at least after its time as a residence.

If you've not already done it, Gary, I'd like to see some info on the original (?) Salvation Army, in the old brick apartments, off Mangum (near Trinity, I think) in OND...at least that's how it was described in a real estate guide during its last (?) sale.


The YWCA on West Chapel HIll was probably torn down around 1970. Up until about about 1998, there were still two big trees at the sidewalk that used to frame the entrance.

Are you referring to the Broadway Apartments? I'm not sure which apartments you are referring to. The earliest dedicated Salvation Army building was on Morris St., profiled here.

If you can let me know more specifically where it is, I can try to track down info on it. I haven't done much of Old North Durham, and just a bit up Mangum St. by Little Five Points.


The business asked about in one of the pictures across the street from Fidelty/Wachovia bank was a dental office (Drs. Wallace and Donald Draughon)...continuing up the street which was residental to the corner of Vickers and Chapel Hill (where the over pass is now) was a family owned drug store and a Piggly Wiggly....all on the same block w/ Temple Baptist.

No pictures of the old Morehead School that was on Jackson...and later moved to Arnette?

Sold Dec. 2012 $103,000

Sold May 2014 $150,000 (with new neighbors)

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