Sneed-Markham-Taylor Store

35.994985, -78.900904

Cross Street
Year built
Year demolished
Construction type
Building Type
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(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The John L. Markham Cash Store, located at the southwest corner of Main and Mangum Sts., was the first commercial brick structure in Durham, built sometime prior to 1881.






(From "Durham: A Pictorial History" by Joel Kostyu)






Looking southwest from Mangum and Main, 1890s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

This structure was demolished sometime prior to 1895 and replaced by a larger, three-story structure that housed the Sneed-Markham-Taylor clothes store on the first floor, a printery on the second floor, and the Knights of Pythias, uh, lodge/temple/meeting hall on the third floor.






Looking west from Mangum St. down Main St., 1905. The SMT building is the first on the left side.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)






A view from the railroad tracks north on Mangum St., 1905. The side of the SMT building is on the left.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

A view from the Washington Duke Hotel, looking southeast. The SMT building is on the left (west of Mangum St.) and the Wheelan Drug Company is on the right. The Greek Revival Citizens Bank is across Mangum St. on the far left.






(Courtesy Durham County Library)

In 1932, the Kress Co. moved east from their previous location at 113 West Main St. to this location. They demolished the SMT building and constructed a beautifully embellished Art Deco structure, in keeping with the style of many of their buildings errected during this era in other parts of the country. This example has more of what I would describe at art nouveau-influenced details - flora, foliage - within an art deco framework.

Below, looking southeast from Main St., late 1930s



(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Below, looking southwest from Main and Mangum, late 1930s


(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The view below shows part of the facade, obstructed by the Walgreens building, looking south from Parrish St.





(Courtesy Duke Archives)

After urban renewal removed the buildings along Mangum between Parrish and Main as well as the structures immediately behind the Kress building, the building stood alone with along the western side of Mangum St.

Kress continued to operate into the 1970s.






But the store closed sometime in the late 1970s and was converted to office space - which involved removal of portions of the interior detail.

Most recently, the structure was purchased by Greenfire and has been renovated as condominium space, which are still for sale - at $300,000 to $500,000 a pop.






Looking south from Main St., 2007.


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