Police Headquarters – Site Plan Concepts

Published by info@preservationdurham.org on

police plan

One of six layouts for the 600 block of East Main Street. In this image, Main Street is in the foreground and the site is bounded by Hood Street to the East, Ramseur Street to the South and Elizabeth Street to the West. To view all six layouts, click here.


The Pros:

We are happy to see that TWO of the proposed site layouts retain the 1928 Carpenter Chevrolet Building on Main Street for future renovation/development. Retaining this building keeps a pedestrian-scale presence on Main Street and provides small, affordable, high visibility office and retail suites in a walkable area near transit and affordable housing.


It is still important for the design team, elected officials and General Services to hear just how important it is for this building to be retained.   Please submit your comments (deadline TOMORROW)  by email to Trish Creta,General Services Department.


The Cons:

As encouraged as we are with the possibility of Carpenter Chevy being saved, we feel that some opportunities are still being missed:

  • None of the layouts preserve any part of the 1948 GMC Truck building or anything else on site.  Given that a few of the schemes include blue areas slated as “future development” it seems short sighted that none of the existing buildings are retained for this use.
    • For instance, in scheme 3 the GMC building could stay (it’s in the surface parking footprint) and accommodate surface parking in the short term (it’s already a garage!).  There’s a blue square next to it for future development.  When future development happens, the GMC building would then be available for adaptive reuse, the surface parking could be relocated, etc. — this achieves greater flexibility for the site and does not doom it’s future as a surface parking lot.
  • All six layouts include large areas dedicated to structured and surface parking.
    • This is particularly problematic for new businesses (Ponysaurus!) opening along Ramseur Street, where accommodating parking has trumped layouts that productively engage the street for pedestrians.
The next steps in public feedback for the Headquarters design are still unknown.  We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more.  In the meantime,PLEASE EMAIL TODAY!