Durham Baking Company / Weeks Motor Company / Motorco Music Hall

36.003508, -78.900308

Cross Street
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Built in ~1938, the Durham Baking Company seems to have been a wholesale production facility, and possibly the Merita Bread Company production facility.


1950 Sanborn map of Rigsbee and West Geer Streets.

Although sources are sketchy, it sounds as if a fire in the baking company building may have resulted in the exit of bread production. Regardless, in the late 1950s, Weeks Motor Company moved from across the street to this building.

Photo of the grand opening of Hutchins Auto Supply, with the Weeks Motor Co. in the background, 02.13.62.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

At some point in the late 1960s or early 1970s, the dealership seems to have become the Weeks-Allen Lincoln Mercury dealership. By 1975, the dealership sold their business to Bradley-Lincoln Mercury, and moved to the former Uzzle Cadillac dealership at Foster and West Geer.

During the ~late 1980s-early 1990s, Triangle Limo Service utilized this location.

Today, it appears to sit empty and a bit overgrown, and apparently suffers from an underabundance of affection.

Looking southwest from West Geer St. and Rigsbee Ave., 07.12.08.

It's yet another great mid-20th century building that I hope survives on West Geer Street. This corridor has the bones to be an epicenter of activity from the DAP to Old North Durham. There is plenty of dead space around these buildings that could be used for new construction, without destroying the fabric that is here.

Update: As of Summer 2010, this building is, fortunately, under renovation to become a live music venue. Initially named "The Geer", the principals have evidently decided to further honor the history of the building by naming the club "Motorco Music Hall."

Freshly hung sign, 08.25.10

The music club opened in September, 2010, continuing a 2009-10 resurgence in the Durham Central Park / Geer St. Corridor area.

10.1.13 - Although closed during weekdays, the "Garage Bar" is currently undergoing additional renevation - it's getting a kitchen.
Photo by Andrius Benokraitis

10.1.13 - parking lot converted into outdoor seating as well
Photo by Andrius Benokraitis

36.003508 -78.900308


this is an amazing structure...so much potential...I poke around it everytime i walk by.

but damn do they want alot for it...right around $1,000,000. last time i checked. It's not wonder it's sat empty for so long.


Rumors abound that the current owners have bulldozer plans for this building. Not sure what they want to replace it with.

the owner does *not* have plans to bulldoze the building. I've talked with him extensively about the plans and can state with certainty that this is not the case.

it would sometimes be much more helpful to talk direct with folks involved rather than delve so deeply into speculation about properties - that approach would create reports with much more value


I'm not sure who your comment is directed towards, but I'd disagree that my 'report' includes speculation. I'd stand by my assessment that the property looks underloved, and that the many persistently empty buildings in this area are threatened. It's a challenge to talk to property owners directly, even if I had time to do so with every property. So I write what I see, and what I know.


now you have hit on the point - such areas are a challenge and the change/turn around takes a great deal of thoughtful planning and massive amounts of funding

It doesn't help that a lot of these landowners have an inflated sense of what their properties are truly worth. $1 million for that thing, plus renovations? Give me a break. At that price, it would almost certainly have to be a tear down to make the numbers work for any developer. Awesome building.

People, check Durham GoMaps before you start your wild speculation. It is plain as day owned by the same people who own Trinity Lofts.

We'll just have to wait for those who know best in New York to sell all those lofts, then we can get a little slice of urban heaven dropped in to that corner that says F U to anyone walking by.

If the condo market wasn't so bad, I'd say the bulldozers were imminent.

Don't underestimate the bureaucratic challenges imposed by the City and the State. Lots of buildings could be put back to use if these government entities would eliminate the regulatory roadblocks that can easily add hundreds of thousands of dollars and many months of waiting to even the simplest of projects.

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