MAIN STREET METHODIST / MAIN STREET CHRISTIAN CHURCH

mainstmethodist_1910.jpegMainStMethodist_1890.jpeg800WMain_W_0.jpegMainStMethodist1900.jpeg/sites/default/files/images/2006_10/mainstchristian_1924.jpg

MAIN STREET METHODIST / MAIN STREET CHRISTIAN CHURCH

813
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1887
/ Modified in
1950-1960
,
1968
/ Demolished in
1982
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

  • Submitted by a friend on Saturday, July 9, 2011 - 2:00am

    ...this Operation Breakthrough sign was perhaps 1977-ish. -forgot that part about the date.

  • Submitted by a friend on Saturday, July 9, 2011 - 2:00am

    Regarding the statement 'I'm not sure what these were used for after the congregation departed.' I specifically remember an 'Operation Breakthrough' (White sign, red letters) banner tied on the side of the building facing Main.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 08/16/2012 - 10:43am by gary

Location

35° 59' 58.6968" N, 78° 54' 33.3756" W

Comments

813
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1887
/ Modified in
1950-1960
,
1968
/ Demolished in
1982
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

mainstmethodist_1910.jpeg
Looking southwest from Main St. ~1900.

MainStMethodist_1890.jpeg
(Courtesy Durham County Library)
Main Street Methodist Church, located on the southeast corner of Main and Gregson Streets was built in 1887 on West Main St., west of the Duke Factory.

800WMain_W_0.jpeg
Looking west from the Southern Conservatory of Music, 1900s.

I love this turn-of-the-century picture for how much the landscape has changed - a great Durham scene that it took me awhile to identify. This is taken from somewhere around the location of the Down Under Pub, looking west/southwest. The chimneys on top of the Watts or Yuille warehouse (now Brightleaf Square) are visible just beyond the church.
MainStMethodist1900.jpeg
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

This building became the Main Street Christian Church in 1906 when the Methodist church moved to the northwest corner of S.Duke and W. Chapel Hill Streets, and the Christian Church moved from their previous building at Liberty and N. Queen Sts.


Main St. Christian Church, looking south from West Main St, 1924.

The area around the church built up considerably during the 1920s and 1930s into a far less residential and much more light industrial area.


Looking northwest from ~N. Duke St., 1948
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Sometime in the 1950s, the church built a new structure just to the east of the original sanctuary, replacing a frame building that appears to have been a house. The picture below shows the new structure just to the left of the original in 1962


Looking southeast from Gregson and West Main St.
(Courtesy Pilgrim United Church of Christ)


(Courtesy of The Herald-Sun)

mainstreetmethodist_060267.jpg

June 2, 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

mainstreetmethodist_2_060267.jpg

June 2, 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

MainStreetMethodist_1_0667.jpg

June 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

mainstmethodist_2_0667.jpg

June 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

mainstreetmethodist_3_0667.jpg

June 1967

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

The original sanctuary of the church was torn down in February 1968. The congregation chose a new site on Academy Drive in 1961, and moved to that location in 1967.


Looking south from West Main St.
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)

mainstmethodist_0268.jpg

February 1968

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

mainstmethodist_2_0268.jpg

February 1968

(Courtesy Louise Hall Collection / NC Collection / Durham County Library)

That site became a parking lot. Although the sanctuary had been torn down, part of original church structure (at the back of the lot, which you can clearly see in the very first picture above to the left of the main sanctuary) and the 1950s structure were still standing in the early 1980s. I'm not sure what these were used for after the congregation departed.

MainStMethodist_1976.jpeg
Looking southeast towards the Durham Laundry Co.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

And below, this appears to be looking northwest towards later-Brightleaf Square and the 1950s structure.

mainstmeth.jpeg
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

Below, looking southwest from the north side of West Main
St., 1981; the 1950s structure is the prominent brick structure on the south side of the street (in the foreground from the Watts and Yuille warehouses.)


(Courtesy Robby Delius)

Soon thereafter (~1981-2) these remaining structures were torn down as well by Terry Sanford Jr. to provide parking for his Brightleaf Square development. The congregation moved out to Academy Drive and

The picture below is taken from as close of a vantage point as was feasbile to the playground shot above.
MainStMethodist_2006.jpeg

While parking is a reality of life, it is really unfortunate to have the entire block front between Duke and Gregson as surface parking. If parking stays at this spot, I hope that at some point a parking structure is constructed with first-floor commercial/retail to enliven this streetscape more. Part of the problem is that this large parking lot is still several separate parcels, owned by several different owners who lease the space to Brightleaf for a good amount of money. Given that, there is not much incentive to change/invest in something better for the area.

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