Mangum Warehouse

36.000638, -78.900716

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Year demolished
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Mangum Warehouse, looking west from Broadway St., 1940.
(Courtesy Library of Congress)

The Mangum Warehouses (No.1 and No.2) were built between 1937 and 1940 on sloping terrain to the north of the earlier tobacco warehouses. The Rigsbee Ave. frontage was, prior to construction of the warehouse, residential.

Warehouse district, 1959.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

Like the Liberty, the Mangum initially included a cafe, although by the 1960s, this had given way to one of several farmers' supply stores in the warehouse area.

Looking southwest, 09.02.63.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

Looking northwest, 08.21.61
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

The Mangum Warehouse had been torn down by the mid-1980s.

Looking southwest from Rigsbee Ave., 1987
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

The land remained empty for ~20 years. By the mid-1990s, several volunteers had begun to conceive of the concept of Durham Central Park, which would utilize the former site of the Mangum Warehouse, as well as vacant land to the west of Foster St. to create an urban park.

From a perusal of their master plan, it appears that there is significant work yet to be done on the former Mangum site, particularly near Rigsbee Ave. It presents a pleasant lawn at this point with the bridge and open portion of the creek at the lower end of the slope as a distinctive feature. I personally keep hoping for some piece of additional definition that will help make it feel more park-ish to me, but the urban green is a nice addition to downtown.

Former Mangum Warehouse site, looking northwest from Rigsbee Ave., 06.07.08.

Former Mangum Warehouse Site / Central Park lawn and pavilion, looking northwest, 06.08.08. Hard to completely understand, looking at this grade, how the warehouse might have been configured on the interior.

36.000638 -78.900716


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A bit test-y today, Gary? (Ok, apologies, that's a really bad pun!) :)

Indeed - the vanished "Recent Comments" are testing my patience.


it would be nice to see some pretty landscaping in that park. it's lovely as it is, but would be even lovelier with some hearty flowers and plants.

re: seeing more park amenities in the park...

The Central Park "Meals from the Market" series of fundraiser events will start in August and continue through early October. Booklets announcing the meals and all the details should be out and about in a week or two around town.

Most of the themed dinners are at individual households and require signing up in advance, but there are also a couple come one/come all affairs like the pig pickin in the park (with large amount of vegetarian sides).

This is the third year of the series and the goal is to increase the amount of dollars raised compared to previous years. Money raised goes to build out remaining parts of the park plan and move towards closer to completion.

(disclosure: I'm not on the board or anything, I just designed the booklet, so forgive if I got any details awry here).

I believe this is currently slated to get improved for setup as an outdoor music space, which it's really a natural fit for.

On the other hand, DPR keeps talking about putting the skateboard park in the southeastern corner of this space, for what appears to be no good reason. I think Durham Central Park, Inc. is pretty ambivalent about those plans.

And, for what it's worth, a somewhat dated blog entry from me, and the last known design plan for DCP.

yeah, I never saw the logic in the skatepark there. It does indeed make a good outdoor venue. I say give the skaters CCB plaza- they are the only consistent denizens of that space anyway.

It's amazing to see the transformation of this space--I used to skate on the old foundation before the park arrived and the backside/downslope led to a small transient camp/crack den. I'd have to sweep the vials and broken glass up before I could skate. I think the logic of the skatepark being there is obvious: the police station keeps the delinquents under careful surveillance. It probably helps some officers juke their stats w/ bogus citations--a bike cop tried to give a 12 year old a ticket for standing on a garbage can/container. The saddest thing is how trashed the area around the skatepark is--between poor drainage design (I'm out there shoveling dirt and cleaning out the functional drains by hand after heavy storms) and a lack of care for sturdy, drought-resistant plantings, the soil is eroding badly and the builders' neglected debris makes the area hazardous and an eyesore. The (skate) park is amazing, but it is so like Durham city gov't to just bail on actually putting that last bit of effort into landscaping and improving the area w/ simple flora.

what happen to the old librty sign

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