Why it’s important:
Initially nominated to Places in Peril in 2011, the nine parcels along the South Gregson Street corridor between the railroad overpass and West Chapel Hill Street remain a vastly underutilized land resource. Now that a new apartment complex has gone up south of Chapel Hill Street, this strip faces development pressure from both sides, especially as parking needs grow.
The most prominent building on the site is a mid-1950’s low slung modern commercial building with distinctive cantilevered canopies. Known as the Medical Arts Building, it has been vacant since the 1990s. Two older brick buildings sit up the hill, one vacant and the other an early example of mixed-use development: the primarily residential structure was
500-600 Block of Holloway Street
Durham’s best examples of Mid-Century Modern commercial design include the 1963 Jack Tar Motel, the 1968 Mutual Community Savings Bank, the 1960 Holiday Inn, and the 1966 North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. Once seen as ‘futuristic’, many people now see these buildings as dated. However, they remain valuable pieces of the Bull City revitalization puzzle.
What’s Needed: The Mutual Community Savings Bank and the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Building remain in use as office space, with future plans for the Mutual Community Savings Bank to include a ground-floor restaurant or design firm. We hope that these buildings can be a stronghold for citizens to embrace the recent past. The Holiday Inn and Jack Tar