Why it’s important:
The Fendol Bevers Farm, straddling Leesville Road near Briar Creek, is a remarkable early farmstead that dates to about 1850. This early I-House has Greek Revival details, a stone foundation and chimneys, original windows with ornamented surrounds, and an intact interior. Early farm buildings surrounding it include a kitchen house, smoke house, and several tobacco barns and storage sheds. Fendol Bevers was Raleigh’s City Engineer and surveyed Wake County. His 1871 survey map helped establish the Durham County borders when it split from Wake County 10 years later. In 1895, after Bevers’ death, the house and farm were sold to J. Elmer Ross.
The Fendol Bevers Farm may be one of the
Durham’s best examples of Mid-Century Modern commercial design include the 1963 Jack Tar Motel, the 1968 Mutual Community Savings Bank, the 1960 Holiday Inn, and the 1966 North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. Once seen as ‘futuristic’, many people now see these buildings as dated. However, they remain valuable pieces of the Bull City revitalization puzzle.
What’s Needed: The Mutual Community Savings Bank and the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Building remain in use as office space, with future plans for the Mutual Community Savings Bank to include a ground-floor restaurant or design firm. We hope that these buildings can be a stronghold for citizens to embrace the recent past. The Holiday
Designed by Milburn & Heister as a Freemasons Lodge in 1924, the building was acquired by Durham County during the Great Depression. It has been vacant since 1992, and deterioration of the roof has resulted in significant water damage, especially to the top floor. The Eligibility Building and the vacant site to its east were purchased in 2007 but the status of any renovation project remains uncertain.
What’s Needed: Preservation Durham supports the redevelopment of the building and infill development on the adjoining lot. Ideally, the development would encourage uses that re-engage the street level and re-open the once gracious storefronts. Until a full renovation can be completed, the building should be secured and stabilized, starting with repairs to the roof
Dating from the 1880s to the 1910s, this neighborhood has some of the best examples of Victorian architecture in Durham. Unfortunately, like much of downtown, the area fell into decline in the 1960s. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and became Durham’s first local historic district in 1987. While the streets immediately to the north have seen a resurgence of owner-occupants and significant re-investment, vacancies continue to plague this historic corridor.
What’s Needed: Several homes in the 500 block have sold recently and Preservation Durham would like to see the remaining vacant homes on these blocks revitalized and occupied as single-family homes. Infill construction that