Downtown Durham Architecture

Hill / CCB / SunTrust Building

On Saturday I went on a walking tour of Downtown Durham, North Carolina. The architectural tour was sponsored by the Preservation Society of Durham, and included lots of history of my new town. No history of Durham is complete without either the Dukes or tobacco, but we also learned that the above building (Hill / CCB / SunTrust, depending on the time you came to Durham) was designed by the same firm who created the Empire State Building. We learned about Parrish Street, which was known as the Black Wall Street, due to its thriving black-owned businesses and professionals. The variety of buildings downtown is tremendous. Styles from Art Deco to Beaux Arts to Georgian to Neo-Classical to Romanesque to Modern, and even Post Modern are represented. And that doesn’t even include all the times that buildings had their roof and facade re-done to match the prevailing style of the times.

Here is a link to my photos from the tour. Details about each building is included with the photo, plus a link for more information, if it is available. Some of this information was twittered while I was on the tour, and I did get feedback from followers who were interested, but the majority of information comes from the fantastic website, Endangered Durham. Every post on this site is chock full of history, photos and the perspective of time. I am envious of this on-going effort.

The Preservation Society has other tours, so I will try to make those too.

Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen