Durham’s Historic Preservation Needs
Keep It Real:
Durham's Historic Preservation Needs
Community Needs Assessment 2015
"Keep it real. But not run down. Or broken. Just make it awesome. "
Growth - Development - Pressure
"It seems that the regeneration in Durham in the past 10 years has been built greatly on the preservation of historic buildings."
"Durham is fortunate to be so desired. We're growing and people want to invest in our town, especially in areas with historic buildings. This is a great opportunity for preservation. We should harness these resources and excitement."
"There is an influx of people back to the city who are interested in old neighborhoods and somewhat interested in preservation. All these people can make or break preservation efforts."
[PD should] "advocate for existing urban fabric and well-considered modern additions to that fabric. Durham is not/should not be Williamsburg, it should be a precedent for growing while understanding and respecting the past."
"The greatest opportunity for preservation with a social conscience is to find a way to work in neighborhoods where many residents rent, and where average incomes may be low -- without displacing any residents."
Downtown - East Durham - Opportunities
"Downtown buildings. They make much more interesting spaces when renovated instead of tearing down and building new. It's what makes a place feel like it's unique to Durham."
"I think probably there are some treasures in East Durham that are more often overlooked because they are in that neighborhood."
"Rebuilding downtown and close by neighborhoods by retaining Durham's character and adding new buildings that retain local vibe."
"If East Durham can be preserved/ improved without displacing large numbers of residents through speculative gentrification, I think that is the most concentrated area of contributing structures left without significant investment."
Character - Old and New
"Keep the old buildings downtown from being torn down and replaced with cookie cutter buildings."
"Preserving the large number of historic buildings scattered throughout our historic neighborhoods as well as the scale of new development in and adjacent to these neighborhoods."
"Infill needs to celebrate the preserved properties - not clash."
"Making sure we don't become what the New York Times thinks is cool by maintaining our identity. The reason people came back to Durham is that you are able to follow your own path in a location that is a great mix of different social economic groups and true individuals."
Education - Communication - Partnerships
[PD should be] "preserving and promoting Durham's unique spaces, and history, making sure that long term Durham residents (and folks with fewer financial means) have decent housing and are part of the neighborhood revitalization efforts, promoting walkability and front porch socialization in our downtown districts and other neighborhoods."
"We need to tell the stories of our buildings while making a strong case for why preservation matters to Durham."
"I would like to see efforts to preserve the character of traditionally african-american neighborhoods."
"Picking the right fights and winning them. Listening to the community. "
"partnership, collaboration, passion for 'getting it right'"
"PD needs to be both more effective at communicating the history of built environment to our community, while at the same time taking a leadership role in how we regulate and incentivize preservation."
"We need to preserve the fabric of older neighborhoods by putting in place historic preservation ordinances coupled with smart use of public space and improvement to walking and biking infrastructure."
"Figuring out ways that preservation of historic properties can be accomplished WITH alternative energy sources (solar, wind, etc.)."
"Refurbish - preserve - advocate - teach."
"These programs foster awareness and engagement with the community in the many ways our historic resources enhance life in Durham."
"I would like to attend 1-2 discussions per year that brought preservation like minded people together to hear a key speaker and then break out into groups to work on key issues relating to Durham."
- the Places in Peril committee will comb the assessment comments for specific sites, as well as share more information about its work;
- the mothballed Leadership Lecture program will be revived to focus on neighborhoods in transition and a community conversation on gentrification;
- the Renovator's Network will offer homeowner education programs targeted to a variety of skill levels and include affordability issues like weatherization;
- the Home Tour and a new program of online renovation tours will feature homes in a variety of neighborhoods, especially those identified in the assessment, and will be more inclusive of smaller homes and less expensive renovations.
- Click here for a matrix showing detailed information about our proposed programs.