Historic Morehead Hill was home to many of Durham’s early industrialists. In the 1880s, Eugene Morehead, L. A. Carr, George W. Watts, and George Lyon all had fine homes here. After the turn of the 20th century, William Gaston Vickers sold off much of his farmland for development, building many small rental homes along Yancey, Parker, Proctor, Wells, Shepherd, and Arnette Streets. Large building lots were reserved on the highest part of the land and in 1910 John Sprunt Hill began a new building boom with his opulent Spanish Colonial Revival style house on South Duke Street. Other period revival homes were soon built around it, including James Edward Stagg’s Chateau style house, Greystone. Today, these two houses are listed
Hope Valley was Durham’s first full-fledged country club suburb, developed around an 18-hole golf course in the late 1920s. Traces of the farms that occupied the land in the 19th Century remain around the historic suburban landscape created by renowned landscape architect Robert Cridland. Mebane & Sharpe, Inc. developed Hope Valley to attract the newly successful the successful young professionals who were thriving in Durham’s tobacco, textile, and health care industries, as well as faculty from the then-new Duke University and the rapidly expanding UNC.
Donald Ross designed the golf course to give privacy to golfers through the use of roadways and greenspaces that flank the course. Aymar Embury II, a well-known society architect known for the structures he created on
The third area is a small neighborhood commercial district in the long, 900 block of E. Main Street that marks the Golden Belt Historic District’s southern edge. Like the rest of the district, Julian S. Carr owned this wedge-shaped block at the turn of the century. But unlike the rest, Carr’s Golden Belt Manufacturing did not develop this area. Most of the frame stores that dotted this block prior to 1910 were replaced with one- and two-story commercial buildings and a brick church, all constructed between 1910 and 1930.
In 2008, the six-building factory complex reopened as the Golden Belt Arts District, developed by Scientific Properties. The historic buildings have been rehabilitated and converted into 37 live/work residential lofts, 35 artist
Construction of suburban villas came to an abrupt halt, however, when New Hope Realty went out of business after the stock market crash of 1929, and the land was auctioned off. Individual buyers still wanted and could afford luxury homes, and hired architects, such as H. Raymond Weeks, Northup and O’Brient, and George Watts Carr, to design houses in popular revival styles. Colonial, Tudor, and English Cottage style homes characterize historic Forest Hills today, lining gracefully winding streets shaded by huge hardwood trees.
After World War II, the neighborhood saw more change, as University Drive evolved from a country road to a busy arterial street. The private club became a city park. The area was still desirable, however, and residential development
The Fayetteville Street neighborhood was once one of the most popular neighborhoods in Southeast Durham, and the home of many African-American professionals, businessmen, and professors at what is now North Carolina Central University. Cultural opportunities offered by the nearby college were attractive to residents. The Algonquin Tennis Club, Southeast Durham’s most popular social and recreational spot of the 1930s and 1940s, was located nearby in the 1400 block of Fayetteville Street. Historic Hayti was a thriving commercial district, home to many black-owned businesses.
Many of the historic homes were built between the 1920s and the 1940s. Comfortable bungalows and revival styles taken from plans in popular magazines characterize the neighborhood. Some were built from plans and materials sold as a package in Sears
East Durham grew up around the old Durham Cotton Manufacturing Company, founded by Julian S. Carr. Today, giant, leafy trees act as a canopy over the historic streets where trolleys once ran between rows of pyramidal cottages, cozy bungalows, and gable-and-wing houses – homes which are historically and architecturally distinct from the mill villages to the south and west. The Durham Land and Security Company, formed in 1886 by banker Eugene Morehead, attorney W.W. Fuller, Robert I. Rogers, owner of the Durham Marble and Brownstone Works, and Dr. John L. Watkins, a leaf tobacco dealer, platted and sold the majority of the lots in the district. The Kirkland Brothers developed the area from Liberty Street to Holloway Street in the
The Development of Duke Park
The Duke Park neighborhood is named for Brodie Duke, the original landowner. Brodie was the eldest son of Washington Duke, the patriarch of the Duke family. The younger Duke acquired the land in Old North Durham and Duke Park from Fred Geer and Atlas M. Rigsbee in the 1880s and 1890s. The area was mostly farmland and woodland cultivated for the Duke family, though legend has it that North Durham residents were allowed to graze their animals on the land.
The Durham Traction Company’s introduction of trolley lines in the early twentieth century made possible new residential areas outside of town and in 1901 Duke subdivided his land north of Trinity and began selling home sites. His
In the guidebook for Preservation Durham’s 2001 tour Living it up Downtown, Tom Miller wrote, “It is not premature to declare that downtown Durham has been saved.” That year, the Baldwin Building was an empty shell. Today, it’s filled with a dozen loft apartments. The previous year, the Preservation Durham tour had explored Durham’s Tobacco Heritage. Tourgoers were led through the deserted courtyard at American Tobacco, surrounded by dilapidated buildings with broken windows and sagging roofs. Today, the American Tobacco Historic District is home to a growing list of tenants whose modern, high-tech offices overlook a lush green lawn where cracked pavement used to be. It seems Tom was right!
Durham began in 1854, when the North Carolina Railroad Company
The historic Cleveland-Holloway neighborhood sits immediately east of downtown Durham, along Holloway Street and northwards. Holloway and Cleveland Streets, which border the neighborhood, were originally listed on the National Register in 1985. Their grand houses were protected from one of Durham’s first local historic districts as well. In 2009, the connecting neighborhood was listed on the National Register, coinciding with a flourishing revitalization and lots of renovations. The neighbors are very proud of the diverse neighborhood, which ranges from grand Victorian homes to tiny 1930s duplexes. They are currently pursuing expansion of the local historic district boundaries to encompass the entire National district.
Occupations listed for early residents of the district include both laborer and managerial positions in tobacco and rail