Whoever purchases 118 S. Driver is moving into a great neighborhood.
Yes, the secret is out.
Just 2+ years ago, back in 2012, I had to really talk East Durham up to people who were looking to buy. Now I have people coming to me saying, “We’re looking to buy a bungalow in East Durham”. That’s a huge change.
Part of its appeal is that it’s one of the few places in Durham where you can still buy a house for under $100,000 (though even that is becoming difficult). For cost conscious buyers who are willing to put in
“Hey Wendy, it’s Victoria. Call me back when you have a chance.” She sounded very serious.
Victoria Broccolo is usually an effusive Italian-American New Yorker. More than once she had called me, excited about hidden features found during the rehab process. This sounded different. I called her back.
“So,” she said, “The back part of the house has to come down”. Sigh.
This wasn’t a complete surprise. We all knew that the rear addition had some major structural problems. This wasn’t the oldest part of the house, but it was built not long after the original (Sanborn maps date its construction to sometime before 1913). Thankfully it wasn’t the part of the house that faced the street; it
Thanks to all of you for the great responses to yesterday’s piece on 118 S. Driver Street. As promised, here’s the follow up on the house’s history, excerpted largely from OpenDurham.org. Big thanks to Gary Kueber for creating such an amazing community resource.
The house at 118 South Driver was built by John W. Evans, who was the first superintendent of the Durham County Home around 1900. The house originally sat on land comprising about half of the current block bounded by Hart Street, Driver St., East Main Street, and Robertson Street. Evans only lived in the house a short time, however, dying in 1902. His land was split up among his heirs.
When I arrived at Preservation Durham 2-1/2 year ago, as Executive Director, I inherited many ongoing projects. Once of them was the house at 118 S. Driver Street, in East Durham. It was down on its heels and had been unoccupied for at least 4 years. It had structural problems and ridiculously low (7-foot!! ceilings). It was a hobbit house that we were offering at a low price for anyone interested in rehabbing it.
I walked many interested parties through the house in the first year. Many of these cute young couples were newly married and excited to find a house that they could buy for less than $20,000. In good conscience, I had to talk all of them out if