Places in Peril 2012: Liberty Warehouse

Why It’s Important:
The Liberty Warehouse is the only surviving loose-leaf tobacco auction house in Durham. Constructed in two sections dating from 1938 and 1948, the massive, timber-framed structure features an expansive open-plan measuring 2.6 acres. It has a brick foundation with a low-pitched, front-gabled roof supported by large timber columns and has numerous skylights partially hidden by a stepped parapet. The auction warehouse filled an important niche in Durham’s tobacco culture; farmers would converge at the auction house, camping out there until their tobacco sold, and patronizing shops, banks, and cafes in the warehouse while they waited. Tobacco auctions ended in the 1980s and the building has been used for any number of purposes since then. Despite having undergone modifications