The historic Watts Hospital-Hillandale neighborhood is centered on tree-shaded West Club Boulevard, anchored by the Durham Water Works on the west, and the former Watts Hospital, now the NC School of Science and Math, on the east.
In 1910, Watts Hospital moved to a 25-acre tract at the intersection of Broad Street and West Club Blvd. George W. Watts, who had donated $50,000 for the establishment of a general hospital in 1895, donated another $500,000 a new hospital designed by Boston architect Bertand E. Taylor in the Spanish Mission style. In 1926, Durham architects Atwood and Nash designed the hospital’s Valinda Beale Watts Pavilion.
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who wanted to live near their workplace built homes here.
Tuscaloosa-Lakewood is a historic neighborhood comprised of approximately 550 homes built in three phases and roughly bounded by Chapel Hill Road, Lakewood Avenue, James Street, and Durham Chapel Hill Blvd.
A portion of the neighborhood has been designated as the Lakewood National Register Historic District, so recognized because it contains a very high proportion of original homes with their historic integrity intact. The district was developed over the first decades of the 20th century. The earliest houses are modest Queen Annes with tri-gable, gable-and-wing and pyramidal roofs. The second phase of development included bungalows and Craftsman-style homes. The final phase, built during the 1930s, was mainly period cottages and Minimal Traditional homes.
Lakewood Historic District National Register Nomination (PDF)
Tuscaloosa-Lakewood Neighborhood Protection Overlay
The Trinity Park and Trinity Heights neighborhoods (recorded collectively as the Trinity Historic District) were platted at the turn of the century and experienced rapid growth and expansion in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Unlike other historic neighborhoods in Durham, which were closely tied to the tobacco industry, the Trinity Historic District, adjacent to Trinity College, provided homes for a growing number of middle class residents, many of them professors or staff at the college.
The neighborhood was overwhelmingly residential with only a handful of churches, schools, and three small commercial buildings. While the churches and schools were scattered throughout the neighborhood, commercial buildings tended to be located at the perimeter. The (former) Watts Grocery Store, at 1202
West Durham was settled as early as the 1850s when the area was known as Pin Hook. By the 1880s, prosperous businessmen were already moving their homes out of downtown and into the country. West Durham began its transformation to a mill village in 1893 when Benjamin Duke and William Erwin opened a cotton mill on Ninth Street, an early southern manufactory of denim. The mill company employed over 1000 workers by the turn of the century, and build 440 houses covering more than fifteen blocks surrounding the mill.
These small but comfortable mill houses contrast with the elegant Queen Anne style mansions that the textile company owners built in the neighborhood. The Neoclassical Revival style E. K. Powe Elementary School was built in 1928, and wings were added in 1949 and 1961. Several handsome churches also grace the neighborhood.
When merchants moved to Ninth Street, the commercial heart of West Durham, they created a business district that still thrives today, and is home to restaurants, bookstores, and boutiques. The historic Neoclassical Revival bank built on Ninth Street in 1922 is now a popular bagel store.
William Erwin was a pioneer in employee relations. He built a park for his workers as early as 1895 and Erwin Auditorium in 1922. The building, now demolished, included game rooms, a library, and even a swimming pool. Although these landmarks are gone, the old Erwin Mill buildings have been adapted into offices and housing, and new buildings, including a gas station and office buildings, have been designed to fit into the ambiance of this thriving neighborhood.
West Durham was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
Old West Durham Links
North Durham began to develop after the street car line expanded north from downtown in 1901. What had been remote farmland soon developed into a comfortable residential neighborhood that incorporated some of the old farmhouses among the new homes. Many businessmen and professionals built large homes on Mangum Street, which soon became known as Mansion Row. Home styles include Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman in an eclectic mix. After World War I, development moved west, this time with more modestly sized bungalows and cottages.
The neighborhood went through a transition in the late twentieth century, and many of the older houses were divided into apartments and rental properties. Today, historic Old North Durham is seeing a revival as many young
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