Home Tour 2005: Downtown

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2005: Celebrate as we Recreate

On Saturday May 7, 2005 the Preservation Durham Old Durham Tour highlighted recent developments in the center of the Bull City. Read more about downtown on our Historic Neighborhoods pages! The variety of building styles Downtown make Durham a unique showcase of 20th century American commercial architecture, and the Downtown Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977. At the start of the 21st century, Downtown is beginning an exciting new life as a new generation of developers see creative possibilites in beautiful old bricks and mortar. Tour headquarters was the O’Brien Building, an 1898 tobacco factory in the 600 block of Morgan Street, just across from West Village. Tour-goers could buy tickets here or exchange advance tickets for a tourbook, which admitted them to all sites on the tour. The tourbook contained information about the tour sites and a map. All the sites this year were within walking distance of each other, and tour-goers explored the sites at their own pace. Docents at each site provided more information about the sites and the tour. Tour sites included the 1927 Baldwin’s Department Store, now turned into luxury loft apartments overlooking Main Street; the 1902 Reed Building at the American Tobacco Historic District, now home of the McKinney / advertising agency’s unique new offices; the c. 1910 Jourdan House on South Duke Street, a private residence now converted into offices; the 1916 Imperial Tobacco Building on Morris Street, now home to Measurement, Inc.’s high tech offices; and early 20th century storefronts on Main Street, Church Street, Rigsbee Street, and Parrish Street that are taking on new roles as offices and apartments. Tourgoers also enjoyed panoramic views of Durham from the 8th floor of City View, the neo-classical 1915 office building that was originally the home of the 1st National Bank.