Teardown in Old North Durham

Published by info@preservationdurham.org on

A looming teardown in Old North Durham highlights the endangered status of much of our small housing stock. The house at 204 E. Trinity Ave is a classic Victorian cottage, also called a Triple-A (for the three A-shape roof gables). This house type is perhaps the most common style in Durham and has been a stalwart of affordable housing in Durham over the years. These houses are old – many at a hundred years old or more – and relatively small. We have already lost many of these houses to neglect and demolition. The remaining ones are iconic for Durham and the keepers of many, many memories.

With rising housing prices and increasing development pressures, talk in town is swirling around affordable housing issues. There are many good proposals being discussed, but the first and foremost ought to be the preservation of the affordable housing that we already have. In the coming months, Preservation Durham will be working to promote the preservation of our existing affordable homes and for a preservation-minded perspective in these conversations.

204 E. Trinity Ave, 1998 (photo courtesy of Open Durham)

204 E. Trinity Ave, 1998 (photo courtesy of Open Durham)


Below is an appeal from concerned neighbors that Preservation Durham received and shared with our community:



We have received word that 204 E. Trinity is scheduled to be demolished today (view house on Open Durham here: http://www.opendurham.org/buildings/204-east-trinity-avenue).

Neighbors were first notified of this demolition over the weekend, and it is contrary to the original agreement with neighbors and the seller to preserve the house.

Dozens of people and organizations have worked hard to preserve this home over the years and in a matter of hours all of that hard work could be for naught. We are asking for your help.

We need time: There are a lot of ways that this could go if there is more time. Ideally the house would be preserved on the current lot where it has stood for 100+ years, but the house could also be moved or materials salvaged by a preservation minded de-constructor like Rick Morgan at Reuse. In short, there are a lot of options better than the current plan and 204 E. Trinity needs your help!

Call to Action: Delaying demolition at this point requires the developer voluntarily agreeing to the delay. The contact is Stuart Cullinan at Five Horizons Development.

— Dylan and Taylor Ellerbee, 203 E. Trinity Ave.

204 E Trinity Ave, 1981. (photo courtesy of Open Durham)

204 E Trinity Ave, 1981. (photo courtesy of Open Durham)