Liggett and Myers Operations Center, 1967.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)
Although I don't know the motivation behind the construction of the Liggett and Myers Operations Center out North Roxboro Road in 1967, I'd like to think that the large neo-colonial structure was meant to evoke the image of the other tobacco magnate manses - Bonnie Brae and Lochmoor - along this stretch of roadway.
By 1974, the company moved its central operations from New York to Durham -and this building became the world headquarters for Liggett and Myers. As such, it represented an interesting second peak for Durham's importance in the tobacco industry - just as the manufacturing and auction sales were waning.
Liggett moved its headquarters back to New York in 1991, and then, as the Liggett Group, back to Durham in 1993.
I'm not sure when Liggett pulled out of this building for good; the building was occupied by GTE for a number of years, and, I believe, currently houses an array of office tenants.
Former Liggett and Myers world headquarters, 10.26.08
Find this spot on a Google Map.
Submitted by JPL (not verified) on Wed, 2/11/2009 - 1:35pm
I think the Google Map link is broken. When I click it I go to the spot for a second, then the jump to somewhere near Forest Hills.
Submitted by Gary (not verified) on Wed, 2/11/2009 - 1:54pm
Thank you - it's fixed. Unfortunately, this appears to be a global change in Google Map's behavior. (One reason I remain somewhat suspicious of Web 2.0 stuff - the purveyor of content can arbitrarily change the behavior of their material.) So all links that were generated by me initially putting in "Durham, NC" in the search box seem to now exhibit this behavior.
Submitted by robby (not verified) on Wed, 2/11/2009 - 2:25pm
The building was used by GTE not AT&T
Submitted by Gary (not verified) on Wed, 2/11/2009 - 2:34pm
Thanks Robby - fixed.
Submitted by Allen (not verified) on Wed, 2/11/2009 - 3:43pm
This building was the headquarters for Liggett Group, Inc. This was the parent company for a dozen other companies around the USA. Ligett & Myers was just one of those companies. Liggett International was headquartered in the building; which handled international sales of Liggett & Myers products.
The actual move of Liggett Group to Montvale, NJ happened in 1979. I worked for Ligget Group until the move was completed, and wished them much luck in the new location.
Submitted by wren (not verified) on Wed, 2/11/2009 - 5:11pm
I always loved this building -- hated what it represented by way of cig sales, but loved the building -- and wanted to see the inside. (I suspect I would have been disappointed. Probably looked like any other office.)
Submitted by Marsosudiro (not verified) on Wed, 2/11/2009 - 5:39pm
Funny that of all the buildings I've ever seen on ED, this is the first that I've disliked.
It was built in 1967 (like me!) but meant to look like something older -- that's the first big strike against in my book of personal aesthetics. And then... I dunno, it always seemed mismatched to have GTE in an oldish looking building.
To know where I'm coming from: my favorite non-huge city in the US for architecture (old and new) is Providence, RI.
And.... I love the Oprah Building as much as I love McPherson Hospital and the Eloise. Be a nice version of what your times have to offer, and I'll love you. I might not like you, but I'll love you.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 2/11/2009 - 9:20pm
The building now is being used by Durham Public Schools as the City of Medicine Academy. Here is the link for the school
Submitted by Steve (not verified) on Wed, 2/11/2009 - 10:07pm
Correction: a small portion of the building is being used for the City of Medicine Academy, which is where I teach. We are located on one floor of the rear of the school. The rest of the building is unoccupied except I believe for some offices up front for the landlord (I don't know for sure as we don't have access to the front and I never go up there).
Also, a more compact URL is http://cma.dpsnc.net/.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 2/16/2009 - 3:49am
The new shiny vinyl windows on the building adds so much character . The vast front lawn was what made this property stand out. Now that they've sold some of the Roxboro Road parcels, it cheapens the grandness of it all.
Submitted by Page (not verified) on Fri, 8/14/2009 - 2:50pm
This was part of the Teer farm, known as Woodenland Terrace Farms, used to grow alfalfa for the milk heard of cows. I remember carrying “ice water” down to give to the German “Prisoners of War” that were hired to work the fields in the 40’s. The Teer family later developed the field for the L&M tobacco company head quarters.
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