704 Fayetteville

35.986227, -78.897577

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Year demolished
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Looking southwest at the 700 block of Fayetteville St., 1950s.
(Courtesy The Herald Sun)

704-706-708 Fayetteville St. was likely built in the 1910s, although it appears likely to have been refaced/stuccoed at a later date. In the 1910s, 704 housed the Durham Mutual Life Insurance Co., 706 the Crystal Barber Shop, and 708 the Sanitax Dry Cleaners. By 1923, 704 housed the "Hayti Cafe", 706 the Crystal Barber Shop, and 708 the Durham Steam Bakery. By 1938, 704 housed a branch of Durham Dairy Products, and 708 was vacant. By 1941, 704 housed Papa Jack's Rainbow Grill, 706 was vacant, and the Crystal Barber Shop had moved to 708. By 1954, Papa Jack's had moved to 706, and the Vanity Fair Beauty Salon occupied 704.

(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

Later 1960s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

Thus it stayed until 1967 (it appears the Williamson Sport Shop made an appearance), when the building was torn down.

It's currently the back of a medical office complex.

Site of 704-708 Fayetteville, 10.05.08

I've puzzled over the incredible abundance of "sport shops" along the blocks of East Pettigrew and Fayetteville St. - which are labeled as "billiards" in the city directories. A recent email leads me to believe that many of these establishments actually hosted quite a bit more gambling than the occasional wager on a game of pool.
This makes quite a bit more sense, as I couldn't imagine that people were that fond of pool.

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35.986227 -78.897577


From what my grandfather told me about pool halls (his dad owned one throughout the 1910s-1920s), these places had as many card games as billiards. Sports betting began appearing with more regularity later (1940s and 50s). At the time he told me about, pool halls were located in basements of buildings (not first floor storefronts) and people usually did not get their money even if they won.

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