Block of East Pettigrew between Henry Alley (intersecting street on the right) and Cozart St. (intersecting street next to Speight's service station, on the left) - ~1940s. 538-540 is the mid-block two-story structure and the adjoining brick-storefront-in-front-of-a-wood-frame-house.
538-540 was created from an earlier vintage house (at 540) which was linked by a single story storefront with an adjoining two story commercial structure.
540 East Pettigrew housed the Baldwin Furniture Exchange from 1929 onward. The business was started by David and Ellen Baldwin, and initially located at 516 East Pettigrew Street (from 1927 to 1929.) In 1951, the store was noted to "have a large warehouse, fully stocked with the latest in furniture." Mr. Baldwin and his wife lived on a 159 acre farm on Old Oxford Highway, and are featured in "Negro Durham Marches On" riding horses.
538, built in 1938, housed the Royal Dry Cleaners. These businesses remained stable at these locations until 1968, when the Royal Cleaners closed, and appears to have been replaced briefly by the Boston Beanery restaurant.