Police Department Headquarters
The Carpenter Chevrolet Building at 600 E. Main Street
Monday afternoon Executive Director, Wendy Hillis, and two board members met with representatives from the City of Durham General Services Department and their design team to discuss design options for the new Police Headquarters project. We are happy to report that the retention of the Carpenter Chevrolet Building is seriously being considered.
We have been heartened by how many of you have engaged on this issue. The design team has clearly heard this feedback about their proposed schemes, and is (thankfully) setting a new model of design engagement with Preservation Durham, Downtown Durham Inc. and The Durham Area Designers all at the table.
The basic issue remains that the Police Department’s program (uses, square footage, adjacencies, parking and security needs) conflicts with the competing desires of a pedestrian-friendly and active street frontage, pedestrian-scaled buildings, and the encouragement of private investment in the immediate area. This is consistent with the message we set forth two years ago, when sites for the Police Department Headquarters were being vetted.
With the both the site and program as fixed assumptions, trade-offs need to be evaluated. We will continue to work with the design team to provide feedback on other key issues.