March 21 2014 WrapUp

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The Jack Tar Motel, Police Headquarters site selection, the Rosenwald Schools Conference and more.


  • On Tuesday night, the City Council approved negotiating financial incentives for the development of a 26-story tower at Main & Corcoran Streets, as well as the renovation of the Jack Tar Motel .  The Jack Tar is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is an  excellent example of mid-century modern architecture.  We’ve been advocating for historic preservation incentives for this building by talking to the City Council and County Commissioners, and we will continue to work with the developer, Austin Lawrence Partners as the project progresses.
  • We are proud to announce that Durham has been selected as the location for the 2015 Rosenwald Schools Conference.  Over 500 attendees are expected to come to Durham in June 2015 for this conference, sponsored by our partner, The National Trust for Historic Preservation.  We’ll keep you updated as conference planning progresses.
  • Thinking about buying an ad in our 2014 Tobacco Heritage tour booklet? Ad prices can be found here. Please contact if you’re interested.
  • Last night’s Spring Fling was a huge success. Thank you to all who came out and supported us! We had a blast drinking beer in the sunshine with everyone. An extra special thanks goes out to Emily Wallrath, George Byrd, Fullsteam Brewery, Claymakers, Patanjali’s Place, Full Frame Festival, The Makery, Lee Attracting Birds and Bees, and Stone Bros. and Byrd. Check out pictures from the event on our Instagram!
  • PD Executive Director Wendy Hillis has been appointed to a 5-year term on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Historic Resources Committee. The 5-member advisory board oversees preservation policy for all licensed architects in the U.S. Wendy was in DC Thursday and Friday of this week for the quarterly meeting of this committee.

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, March 25th: Board meeting at our office from 5:00-6:30. Open to the public.
  • Friday, March 28th: Home tour committee meeting at our office, 9:00.
  • Home tour ticket sales start March 31st!

Preservation Success Story

733 Foster St.
Todd Atlas can’t believe that it’s been over 3 years since he first started working on renovating the building at 733 Foster St. The rare streamline moderne building, which was built as a dry-cleaner in 1947, had hardly been touched in the intervening decades. When Todd first purchased the building, it was filled with mid-century dry cleaning equipment and, unfortunately, mid-century site pollution problems, which required a complicated sub-slab remediation solution. The first step was to get the building listed as a contributing structure on the National Register. The next step was coordinating the clean-up process.Todd worked with both the City of Durham and the state to come up with the remediation plan, and funded the project with historic preservation tax credits and a city grant.
After years of hard work, coordination, and patience, the renovation is finally finished, and the building is ready to be rented. This project is so amazing that 2 of the 5 spaces inside have already been spoken for. If you’re interested in renting in the building, check out the website here. We’re so glad to see such a sensitive and thoughtful rehab on one of the city’s last remaining Moderne-style buildings.