Thursday, October 23, 2014
The Cookery, 1101 West Chapel Hill Street, Durham
GEORGE & MARY PYNE AWARDS
527 Holloway Street
O’Brient Store, 613 Holloway Street
509 Mallard Avenue – relocated from 405 Swift Avenue
Bassett House, 1017 West Trinity Avenue
Royal Crown Bottling Plant, 321 West Geer Street
527 Holloway Street
Owners: Colin and Holly Dwan
Contractor: Cadence Construction
When Colin & Holly Dwan first set their sights on the house at 527 Holloway Street, it took
more than a little vision to picture what the house and neighborhood could be. A few houses
on the block – a 2011 Preservation Durham Place in Peril – were in the process of being
renovated, but it was slow going. The house, a lovely Victorian with plenty of details hidden
inside, had been divided into apartments for decades. The last human occupants had left some
tragic graffiti; what was worse, the last animal occupants hadn’t quite made it back out.
Boarded windows, plywood floors, vinyl siding, Victorian spindlework: it was the sort of house
that old-house people look at longingly when they drive down the street and everyone else
wonders why it hasn’t been torn down yet. Good thing Holly is an old-house person! She took
on the project of restoring the house to a single-family home, hiring 4/1 Design to discover the
original floor plan and to figure out how to best make it work for a modern family and Cadence
Construction to repair and restore it to its former glory.
The front hall, split to lead to upstairs and downstairs apartments, was re-opened, with a newel
post and railing constructed to match the few pieces that remained. Added closets, hallways,
and walls were removed, the foundation shored up, and the roof repaired. Vinyl windows were
removed and replaced with wood two-over-twos matching those in an historic photo.
Downstairs now has ample space to play for Holly and Colin’s growing family, and upstairs has
bedrooms for all. And happily for all traveling by, the vinyl siding came off, allowing the house,
with all its exterior spindlework, decorative shingles, and cut-away bays to breathe easy again.
Once the major work was done and they could move in, Holly started on the small projects –
she has done all the interior painting, tile, and details herself over the past few years. While
she’ll say it’s not quite done, the house looks fantastic, and we are happy to present the Dwans
with a 2014 Pyne Preservation Award.
I’d wager that anyone who has driven across Holloway Street been charmed by this
building. It was originally a neighborhood grocery, established by R.P. O’Briant and
subsequently operated by John Roy Beck and then M. D. Fletcher. The second floor
housed a single apartment. The building dates to around 1915 or 1920, and was
operated by various retail uses well into the 70’s.
An early twentieth century neighborhood store is often noteworthy, given the rarity of
this once-common building type. But O’Briant’s also happens to be perched on the edge
of a Holloway Street railroad bridge, built by the State in 1955 to replace a failing
wooden trestle. A heavy cast concrete balustrade with openings for the shopfront door
and the fire escape stair enhances the building’s fetching personality.
But by 2012, the store was really down on its luck. It had been empty and neglected for
years, its storefront boarded up so long that the bright blue paint had faded in the sun.
Preservation North Carolina optioned the building in early 2011 and PNC’s Cathleen
Turner began searching for someone to rehabilitate it. That summer, a 5.8 magnitude
earthquake centered in Virginia took out the back wall. Portions of the first floor, second
floor, and roof went with it.
Despite it all, Ken Gasch was unafraid. He bought the building in 2012 and started
interior clean up and demo in earnest. By 2013, Ken had rebuilt the back wall and the
roof and was working on the interior. Ken converted the original retail space at the
ground floor to an open-plan residential apartment, installing a bathroom and kitchen
along with new electrical mechanical and plumbing systems for the whole building.
When Ken removed the plywood covering the historic storefront, he found the original
transoms and doors, which were fully restored. At the second floor, Gasch rehabbed the
existing apartment, patching the floor where necessary and leaving of the brick walls
exposed for character. New millwork was fabricated using what remained as a guide.
For his intrepid rehab of a community favorite, and one of our 2011 Places in Peril, we
are happy to award a Pyne Preservation Award to Ken Gasch of Turnlight Partners.
509 Mallard Avenue – Relocated from 405 Swift Avenue
Owners: Chris McLaurin and Devin Crock
Contractor: Minerva Design and Renovation
Before and After images:405 Swift-509 Mallard
This early 20th century pyramidal cottage, originally located on Duke University’s campus at
405 Swift Ave, was saved from the wrecking ball in January 2013 by Brooks Adams of Minerva
Construction and moved to a long-vacant lot in Cleveland-Holloway. Duke University offered
the home for free with a $5,000 incentive to anyone willing—or crazy enough—to move it. A
zoning ordinance was obtained from the city to allow for its placement next an urban stream.
Sliced in half from front to back and transported the 2.5 miles to its new site at 509 Mallard Ave
by Pittsboro’s Kountry Boys House Moving, the building was re-assembled on a raised
foundation with a new roof. McKinney Renovation assisted with restoration. The original siding
was saved and restored. The porch was also restored and long-missing wood columns were
replicated from two surviving columns. Brick from the home’s old chimney was reused for the
front porch piers. The rear shed-roof porch was rebuilt to include two new bathrooms, a
mudroom and a rear entry vestibule. A new gas furnace, central A/C, plumbing and electrical
were also installed.
Painstaking care was taken to save the original windows, heart-pine floors, four original
fireplaces, and interior woodwork. Vintage doors found at the Durham Reuse Warehouse were
incorporated as needed. The only major interior change to this three bedroom home was
moving the kitchen from the rear to a second parlor at the front of the house, which, thanks to
original 6’x7’ pocket doors, allowed for an open flow feeling between the new kitchen and
living room. The former kitchen was converted to a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom.
Despite challenges—structural, logistical and bureaucratic—this project ended up as a win-win
situation. The hundred year old home was restored for new owners Chris McLaurin and Devin
Crock, and a neighborhood lot, vacant since 1999, was brought back to life with decidedly
compatible “new” infill.
For undertaking the tricky move and thoughtful restoration, we are proud to award Minerva
Design and Renovation and Brooks Adams a 2014 Pyne Preservation Award.
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Bassett House, 1017 West Trinity Avenue
Owners: Michael Schram & Barbara Greising
Contractor: Riverbank Homes
When Barbara Greising and Mike Schram bought the historied Bassett House at 1017 W. Trinity
in 2013, they weren’t looking for a landmark home and had never renovated a historic
property. Despite the home’s failing foundation and 1970s wallpaper, they jumped in and
undertook a rehabilitation that was not for the faint of heart.
The one-and-one-half story gambrel-roofed house was built in 1891 as one of five faculty
houses on the original Trinity College campus, now Duke University’s East campus. The house
takes its name from Professor John Spencer Bassett who weathered the political storm over
academic freedom known as the “Bassett Affair,” while living in the home. The home was
moved to Trinity Avenue in 1916 by then-resident Professor Albert Webb, who also completed
several modifications in the 1920s. Later, the house was redecorated wholesale as designer
showcase in 1976, with a different local designer tackling each room. When Greising and
Schram took ownership in 2013, much of the 70s decor remained. On top of that, decades of
student renters had taken its toll.
The 2013-2014 restoration was extensive to say the least, involving a multi-disciplinary team of
professionals including Architect Todd Addison, Structural Engineer Fritz Brunsen, Preservation
Consultant Sara Davis Lachenman, Builder David Parker, Interior Designer Anita Oates, and
kitchen designer and fabricator Stephen Boggs. All siding, windows, doors, trim and floors were
repaired and restored. Removal of plaster board ceilings uncovered original bead board
ceilings, which have been fully restored. The substandard foundation was completely replaced,
as were all electrical, plumbing, and air handling systems. The kitchen and baths were
completely rebuilt and the total living area was expanded, including 800 square feet of finished
basement space. A new screened porch and deck were added at the rear of the house.
In addition to the restoration, Greising and Schram extensively researched the history of the
home. Working with Duke University research archivist Amy McDonald, they discovered that
the architect for the Bassett House—and the other Faculty Houses—was New York-based
architect Robert W. Shoppell, who published a popular book of mail-order plans in 1887.
For their extensive restoration and obvious passion for the history of their home, we are proud
to award Barbara Greising and Mike Schram a 2014 Pyne Preservation Award.
Royal Crown Bottling Plant, 321 West Geer Street
Owners: Empire Properties
Contractor: Alliance Architecture
The Royal Crown Cola bottling plant at 321 West Geer Street has helped fulfill the beverage needs of
Durhamites since the 1930’s. Thanks to Empire Properties, who recently completed their impeccable
renovation and upfit for the Pit Restaurant, the building will last well into the 21st century and it now not
only a place to find a cold drink, but also some of Durham’s tastiest barbecue.
At more than 18,000 square feet, the structure at 321 West Geer is the largest in the Foster and West
Geer Street National Register Historic District. Built by Lloyd H. Brown to house his growing bottling
company, the 1939 portion of the building included a two-story block facing Geer Street and a one-story
wing – used for bottle storage – extending south along Rigsbee. The otherwise utilitarian commercial
structure is most notable for its distinctive greenish-yellow glazed brick and the elegant Moderne
detailing of the cast stone entry facing Geer Street.
In 1945 Mr. Brown sold the facility to the Royal Crown Cola Bottling Company, who shipped out cases of
RC Cola, True-Ade Sodas, and 7-Up well into the 1960’s. The plant was expanded twice, with a one-story
automotive maintenance shop added in 1950, and a large warehouse – currently the home of Fullsteam
Brewery – erected at the south end of the complex in the early 1970’s.
Empire purchased the largely vacant structure in 2012, undertaking a complete renovation. Empire and
their team of designers faced countless building code and accessibility challenges –all under the careful
scrutiny of the State Historic Preservation Office. With the entire complex connected internally by
sloping floor slabs and ramps navigating more than six feet of vertical grade change, one of the biggest
challenges was simply getting patrons into the building. New historically appropriate steel casement
windows were custom fabricated, all building systems were completely replaced, and an elevator was
added to deliver patrons to a beautiful rooftop deck. Yet despite the magnitude of the demolition and
reconstruction, Empire managed not only to preserve, but to enhance the flavor of this unique building.
For their sensitive and creative rehabilitation of the largest remaining structure in Durham Central Park,
we are very pleased to award Empire Properties and Alliance Architecture a 2014 Pyne Preservation
NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION AWARDS
1102-1104 Ninth Street
504 Gattis and 1008 Burch Street
309 Canal Street
1102-1104 Ninth Street
Contractor: Riverbank Custom Homes
1102 and 1104 Ninth Street were built next door to each other in the 1930’s, among several
side-by-side two-story duplexes built in the 1100 block during the height of the Great
Depression. These well-appointed structures provided affordable yet beautiful work force
housing for medical staff and their families only half a block from thriving and newly expanded
While the central location and high quality of these unique rental units kept them occupied and
in reasonably good repair throughout most of the 20th century, the years and the changing
economy took their toll. Watts Hospital closed in 1976, with patients and medical staff moving
north to newly built Durham Regional. Ten years later, Burlington Industries shuttered the
Erwin Textile Mill complex, further reducing demand for walkable affordable housing. Like
much of the surrounding area, the 1100 block of Ninth Street entered a period of slow decline
and insensitive renovations.
While 1104 retained its wood siding and windows, 1102 was wrapped in vinyl, its original
windows scrapped in favor of cheap vinyl replacements. Character filled front porches
deteriorated and were clumsily replaced with pressure treated wood and contractor style
Enter Jay Munro and David Parker of Riverbank Custom Home Builder and their team, including
architect Ron Wilde and Preservation Consultant Sara Davis Lachenman of Four over One
Design. The team mapped out a strategy to renovate both structures at once, with strict
adherence to the Watts-Hillandale Preservation Plan and earning Preservation Tax Credits. A
modest shed-roofed addition to the back of each unit provided a much needed mudroom and
laundry area. Vinyl siding was removed from 1102 and original wood siding and exterior details
were repaired and repainted on both structures. Ghosted outlines under the vinyl siding
guided fabrication of new high backed benches like those that had once graced the front porch
For their attention to detail, and for bringing new life and vitality to this historic one-of-a-kind
Ninth Street block, we are proud to award Jay Munro and David Parker of Riverbank Custom
Homes with a 2014 Neighborhood Conservation Award.
Renovision Properties: 504 Gattis and 1008 Burch
Owners: Nick and Victoria Broccolo
Nick and Victoria Broccolo have built a business out of giving forgotten houses a new purpose.
Their aptly named construction company, Renovision, has been saving houses in West End,
Burch Avenue, East Durham, and other neighborhoods that most people would write off as too
far gone, or good for nothing but a cheap rental. Tackling the structure from foundation to
roof, they preserve and restore what few old pieces are left and replace period-appropriate
elements where they’ve been lost, creating distinctive and affordable houses that are full of
Often their buyers are first-time purchasers who love the idea of being in an older, established
neighborhood but cannot imagine renovating a house themselves. Take 506 Gattis, a house
that needed everything from the roof to the floor framing replaced, and had lost its trim,
mantles, porch details, and windows. Leaving the central hall and most of the rooms in their
original configuration, a few tweaks to a bathroom, an added master bath, a kitchen
renovation, and a rebuilt back porch made the house liveable for a new family. Finding a
salvage mantle from the neighborhood, milling new trimwork to match the existing, and
sourcing the perfect scrollwork brackets for the front porch took it the extra step that makes it
feel right in the neighborhood again.
Other success stories include a formerly burned-out shell at the corner of Glendale and Geer, a
down-on-its-luck house on Carroll, and their current project, now wrapping up at 118 South
Driver – a Preservation Durham house that most had written off as impossible. While their
individual projects may not be quite as grand as some of our other award winners, Renovision’s
overall body of work is remarkable, illustrating the potential of historic restorations to not only
stop decline, but to inject new vitality into even badly neglected neighborhoods.
We are pleased to recognize Nick and Victoria Broccolo of Renovision with a 2014
Neighborhood Conservation Award.
309 Canal Street
Owners: Timothy and Stacy Price
Contractor: Linton Architects
When Timothy and Stacy Price began rehabilitation of 309 Canal Street in Cleveland
Holloway, they had to evict the fox that was living in one of the bedrooms. Most people
would have demolished the one-and-a-half-story Queen Anne cottage after seeing how
lopsided it was. Or upon discovering how extensively water and termites had
compromised its structure. But the Prices got together with with Linton Architects and
Yelverton General Contracting and got to work.
First, the team peeled back layers that had been added to the building, which included
additions that obscured original architecture, like the room enclosure at the front porch.
Then, they rebuilt all compromised structural element. This constituted a great majority
of the main floor framing. To straighten out the sloping floor, they had to jack up the
foundation over thirteen inches in some spots. All the plaster then had to be replaced.
Next, the house as it was originally built was lovingly rehabilitated: workers preserved existing fabric where it survived intact, but other details had to be recreated,based on physical evidence whenever available. Original details include the wood stair and bannister, bead board wainscot, door and window trim, baseboard trim, tongue-and-groove wood ceilings, and wood doors and weather board siding. Porch posts and brackets are replicas. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were modernized, as were living spaces.
A new addition houses a master suite,but the original main floor public spaces remain intact and serve their original functions. Re-opening of the enclosed portions of the wrap around porch restored a defining element of this classic Queen Anne cottage. For saving this severely deteriorated structure and making it a beautiful place to raise their family, we are pleased to present Timothy and Stacy Price with a 2014 Neighborhood Conservation Award.
SEEDS, 706 Gilbert Street
510 Oakwood Avenue
SEEDS, 706 Gilbert Street
Contractor: CT Wilson
When SEEDS moved in to 706 Gilbert Street as renters in 2000, the concrete and cinder block
building next to the vibrant Education Community Garden was in a sad state. The building,
overlooking the Seed Exchange and Hosiery Mill, had served as a food store and hot dog stand,
parlor and mortuary, and a church—hopefully in that order— before it became home to SEEDS’
administrative and programs staff. The roof was failing, the back wall was separating from the
main structure and the mechanical system were antiques.
After purchasing the building in 2011, SEEDS planned a major renovation to include a large
multi-use space for educational and community events, a commercial-grade Teaching Kitchen
with a walk-in cooler, expanded office space and a garden-level storage “tool cave” complete
with a bathroom. It was important that the building interact with the garden and be as
environmentally sustainable as possible.
Though the existing building was utilitarian and not within a historic district, the ultimate
decision to renovate instead of demolish it made sense. The site straddles two zoning districts.
New construction adhering to current setbacks would push building foundations well into the
fertile garden soils, painstakingly cultivated for nearly 20 years. By preserving the majority of
the exterior walls and nearly all of the existing floor slab, the building could be expanded to the
south and west. This strategy preserved the existing building’s relationship to the street,
created a better interface with the gardens, and reduced construction waste while navigating
significant zoning challenges.
SEEDS, in partnership with Architect MHAworks, Engineer and Landscape Architect Coulter
Jewell Thames PA, and builder CT Wilson achieved their goals with a modern 1,800 square foot
glass, wood and metal expansion. In addition to the reuse of the original building’s walls and
floor, the project incorporates a myriad of other “green” elements. Thick timber joists salvaged
from the building’s failing roof form a canopy at the reception, “barn doors” at the entry, and
“clouds” hiding recessed light fixtures in the office area. The strip maple floor of the
multipurpose space came courtesy of a gymnasium renovation at Durham Academy.
Daylighting is enhanced by solar tubes in the office spaces and clerestory windows in the
multipurpose space. Light dimmers and occupancy sensors further manage the already efficient
LED lighting. Bathrooms and showers have high efficiency water flow, and the teaching kitchen
and the gardens boast several salvaged three-compartment sinks. All stormwater runoff from
the reflective white roof is collected in colorfully decorated cisterns for watering the garden.
The roof also houses solar thermal hot water panels.
For their effective and creative recycling of an existing building, and for their ongoing
commitment to smart stewardship of all resources, we are pleased to present SEEDS, in
partnership with MHAworks, CT Wilson, and Coulter Jewell Thames PA, a 2014 Preservation
Durham Green Award.
510 Oakwood Avenue
Owners: Emily-Kate Hannapel and Laura Stephenson
Contractor: Riverbank Custom Homes
When Emily-Kate Hannapel and Laura Stephenson bought the little triple-A Victorian cottage at
the corner of Oakwood and Primitive in 2012, it had been sold five times in the previous ten
years. It was heavily re-muddled, with a two-foot-wide hallway down the middle, extensive fire
damage, and no foundation under the rear addition. Full of trash, with mattresses in the yard
and beige carpet on the floor, it hardly had any of its original charm beyond the large corner lot
and a hint of possibility.
With the help of Architect Coby Linton and Riverbank Custom Homes, Emily-Kate & Laura took on what they saw as a massive recycling project. The original front rooms were brought back, a side porch added off of the relocated kitchen in the rear wing, anew master suite constructed off the rear. Vinyl siding came off, two-over-two wiood windows sized to fit the original framing replaced small vinyl ones, and turned porch posts with brackets rplaced the 4×4″ lumber supporting the porch.
Their focus on the environment and reuse took center stage inside with recycled old doors, sinks, claw foot tub, and fireplace mantle. the systems, too, are highly efficient, with spray foam insulation, rain water collect, solar power, and LED lights. Even most of the furniture is either built with reclaimed wood by Emily-Kate or previously used – and yes this does not feel aggressively modern or green in a contrived way. Instead, the house feels cozy, warm, and vintage.
All of the imagination it took to picture the house as a home as is evident throughout the inside and out into the garden, which is well connected to the interior by a side screened porch. their philosophy of reuse continues outside,with a backyard farm of chickens, bees, vegetables, and flowers. The shed and chicken coop are made out of entirely salvaged materials, and the property has been deemed “creek-smart’ because of its’ rain water reuse and rain garden. Preservation Durham sees 510 Oakwood as an excellent example of preservation as environmental stewardship, and is proud to award Emily-Kate Hannapel and Laura Stephenson with a 2014 Preservation Durham Green Award.