FIVE POINTS

FIVE POINTS


/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/5Points_W_1920.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/5Points_W_1920.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/5points_west_1917.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/5points_birdseye_W_1920s.jpg

FIVE POINTS - WEST / FIVE POINTS DRUG COMPANY

,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1907
/ Demolished in
1929
Businesses: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

Comments

No comments yet.

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 04/22/2012 - 8:44pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 49.3044" N, 78° 54' 15.894" W
US

Comments

,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1907
/ Demolished in
1929
Businesses: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

----------

Today, we move downtown to 'big' Five Points. Although Durham Station was established at the foot of Corcoran Street, at the railroad tracks, Five Points became an important hub of retail activity by the 1910s-1920s

Looking west on West Main St., 1905.

New mercantile, masonry structures replaced the earlier industry structures during the 1900's, 1910s, and 1920s. The Five Points Drug Company, occupying was one of those impressive new structures - a flatiron building located on the western 'point' of Five Points, constructed in 1907.


Five Points, looking west, 1920s
(Courtesy Duke Archives)


Five Points Drug Co., 1917
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection, Wyatt Dixon Collection)


Looking west, 1920s.
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Five Points Drug Co., looking northwest, 1920s.

The Five Points Drug company occupied the beautiful flatiron building in the top picture until the late 1920s, at which point the building burned. The garage at 421 West Main Street, immediately it its west, remodeled itself to face the 'point' once the Five Points Drug Company was gone, utilizing the vacant space for gas pumps and parking.


Looking West, 1947.


Snow-covered, late 1940s
(Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection - Wyatt Dixon Collection)


Aerial view of the asphalt, 1950

By the late 1950s, the First Federal Savings and Loan Company had taken over the gas station, and utilized the 'point' simply for parking.

Whether this stirred a desire for some beautification from the S&L or from the city, there followed construction of a wee garden and fountain at the tip of the point. Ahhhh - what asphalt?


Frolic-worthy garden, ~1960.


Seemingly even smaller garden, 1964


Five Points, looking west, 1964
(Courtesy Durham County Library)


Onewayifying, 1970

With construction of the Five Points Restaurant in the 1970s, the vacant lot became a courtyard.


Five Points, looking west, 1978
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

These buildings also burned during the 1970s and were later demolished. The Vacant Triangle became even larger, and for the last ~30 years has been grass and trees. Our latest efforts to deflect the vacancy of the land include a nice streetscape construction, to include benches, trees, brick, and - if he had had historic bollards, historically appropriate bollards.


Five Points, looking west, 2006

Two buildings still exist in the triangle of land left between the 'point' and the Loop. Unfortunately, the vacant land, the Loop, and the stark dominance of the Southbank building leave the area feeling more desolate than it should. The sidewalk is pretty, but what this spot really needs are buildings, ideally a new flatiron building. The longtime owner, Anna Ho Whalen, has not publicly expressed any desire to make that happen through action. I can't say that I'll ever understand the vacant land/vacant building investment-without-planned-development model; personally I'd be embarrassed if I ever considered sitting on a vacant piece of land in the center of downtown for 30 years.

In my view, Five Points remains the most important intersection in Durham as a focal point for future revitalization. The city has undertaken a (prolonged) effort to fix the transportation problems with the intersection (returning it to a true 5 points configuration and returning the traffic on Chapel Hill St. and Main to two-way.) While I am a big fan of the transportation improvements, the land use at Five Points remains a challenge.

Update: Summer 2007: The two-way transformation of Main and Chapel Hill Sts. is complete, and an absolute triumph. But, some nice benches and copious bollards aside, the flatiron spot is still vacant.


Five Points - western point, looking west, 09.12.10, with me about to be run down.

Find this spot on a Google Map

Add new comment

400-404WMain_1970.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2014_9/corner_morris_wmain_1939.jpg400-404WMain_1_012858.jpg400-404WMain_2_012858.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2014_1/400wmain_N_before_1971.jpg

400-404 WEST MAIN STREET

400-404
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
/ Demolished in
1974
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Comments

No comments yet.

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 09/22/2014 - 11:26am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 49.524" N, 78° 54' 14.6844" W
US

Comments

400-404
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
/ Demolished in
1974
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

400-404WMain_1970.jpg

(Durham County Library)

Built in the 1930s.

1939 Duke Homecoming Parade (Retrochrome.net) showing 400 W. Main as the "Advance Store" and "Durham Beauty Academy." I was a bit loath to believe that this shot was from as early as 1939, but I can't imagine the "Advance Store" would use a rising sun logo after the early 1940s.

400-404WMain_1_012858.jpg

 

01.28.58

400-404WMain_2_012858.jpg

01.28.58

(Photo by George Pyne via Milo Pyne)

(Photo by George Pyne via Milo Pyne)

(Photo by George Pyne via Milo Pyne)


Completed First Federal Building.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

04.27.13

Add new comment

/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/5ptsne1910.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/NECorner5Pts_1924.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/5ptsne1940.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/NECorner_ECH_Morris_092547.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2014_9/100-102Morris_1939.jpg

100-102-104-106 MORRIS STREET

102
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1890s
/ Modified in
1954
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Though much modified, this building is one of the oldest remaining in downtown - minus its original, quirky Second Empire roof.

Comments

No comments yet.

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 09/21/2014 - 9:15am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 49.5348" N, 78° 54' 13.3524" W
US

Comments

102
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1890s
/ Modified in
1954
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

And so we come to the last 'point' of Five Points, and it is an intriguing one. I find it intriguing because, despite the fact that it isn't written up in any history/architecture books, and I can't find any really good old picture of it, I think it may be (despite heavy alteration) contemporaneous with 111 West Main, which is quoted to be the oldest building downtown (1893). I base this upon the appearance of a building at this corner in the 1893 Sanborn maps, labeled as "2 1/2 stories", which does not change signficantly in shape in the following two Sanborns. The first photo is from ~1910

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

Note the unusual 3rd floor, which almost appears to be a type of hipped roof with projecting dormers - including a dormer facing the cut corner. Also notice the arched doorway, matching the windows.

Here's a nice view of the roof from 1924

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

and a decent view from the 1930s

(Courtesy Durham County Library)


A view of the building during the Tobacco Jubilee parade, 09.25.47.

This impressive shot is noted as being from 1939, but I'm not certain of that. I'm no expert on vehicles, but what I can see makes me think of 1940s rather than 1939 - but regardless, a very early color shot.

"1939 Duke Homecoming parade." (Courtesy Retrochrome.net)

It appears that the building was radically altered in 1954. A pox on people's desire to 'modernize' perfectly wonderful buildings.


1954 view - again, only a partial view, but you can see the scaffolding around the building.


A 1950s view of the altered building. The top floor has been removed, and all of the windows squared/replaced.

102Morris_012858.jpg
01.28.58 (Courtesy Herald-Sun)


1960s - I spliced two historic photos together to make this picture - so it's a bit funky, including half a car by the front door.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

Through no fault of its own, this building is prominent in the remarkable and ugly scene below, 1964.

102Morris_klan_c1964.jpg

Note the original arched doorway is still visible in 1967

(Courtesy Durham County Library)

More abuse arrived by 1973, in the form of a false facade, but that stubborn arched door remained.

102Morris_1960s.jpg

Make those ugly windows go away! They frighten me!


(Courtesy Durham County Library)

The city renovated this building - I believe in the 1980s, but I'm not positive about that, and it has had a series of tenants over the years. Here is the building as of 2006.

All in all, not bad, given what it had been put through. It is an important building at Five Points, as it gives at least one corner some definition. While I am not certain that it is as old as 1893, it certainly dates from pre-1910, and is the only extant building near Five Points that was contemporaneous with the first public library.


Looking northeast, 07.24.08

Scott Harmon purchased the building from the city of Durham in December of 2011 and began renovations soon thereafter to convert the building into retail and residential condominiums. 

102Morris_render.jpg

Rendering of renovated facade.

102Morris_031112.jpg

03.11.12

102Morris_052212.jpg

05.22.12

102Morris_060912.jpg

102 Morris, 06.09.12

The building (re)opened in summer of 2013, with retail tenants such as Pizzeria Toro and the Cupcake Bar.

09.12.12

04.27.13

Add new comment

/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/FivePoints_Piedmont_1940s.jpg/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/5ptseast1890s.jpgmainlibrary_1905.jpeg/sites/default/files/images/2006_9/5ptseast_1920s.jpg5ptseastaerial1920_0.jpeg

PIEDMONT BUILDING

332-340
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1921
/ Demolished in
1966
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

One of Durham's two great flatiron buildings at Five Points, both now gone.

Comments

No comments yet.

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 09/21/2014 - 9:29am by gary

Location

35° 59' 48.5448" N, 78° 54' 12.834" W

Comments

332-340
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1921
/ Demolished in
1966
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 


Piedmont Building, 1940s

The Piedmont Building occupied the most prominent location in Durham for over 40 years - the eastern point of Five Points. But prior to that, this prominent spot had been the site of the first public library in Durham, which was housed in a small wood-frame building

Courtesy Durham County Library, circa 1910

mainlibrary_1905.jpeg
Looking northwest (towards Five Points) from West Main St.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

The main public library was established in 1897 as the first public, non-subscription library in North Carolina. The "Canterbury Club" - a women's social group - began fundraising and enlisting support from other groups to build a library for Durham. Ms. Lalla Ruth Carr donated the land at the eastern point of Five Points, said to be worth 00, as a location for the library, which opened in 1898.

When the library moved to its building on East Main Street in 1921 (still standing!), the wood frame structure was torn down and replaced with a flatiron building, called the Piedmont Building that same year. This building had a flat face, unlike the rounded front on the opposite point. (Which you can see the shadow of in this, evidently, late afternoon picture.) The building was built by the Piedmont Club, a newly organized 'men's club' that intended to build a structure that would provide facilities for their club (as well as retail space on the first floor - much like the Temple Buildng and Masonic Temple building further east on Main St. The building contained a ballroom and kitchen area on the third (top) floor. Judge Sykes was the president of the Piedmont Club, Foy Robertson the vice-president and JM Markham was secretary-treasurer.


Looking east, circa 1925
(Courtesy Durham County Library)

5ptseastaerial1920_0.jpegAerial view, looking east.
Courtesy Duke Archives
5ptseastparade.jpegParade at Five Points, looking east
Courtesy Durham County Library

A great early color shot (actually two that I've combined) purportedly from 1939's Duke Homecoming parade. (Retrochrome.net)
 


Piedmont Building, 1940s

piedmontbldgdemonst_021648.jpg

City Worker strike (heading to city hall) - 02.16.48

By the 1950s, the flat front of the building was a place for advertisements and a clock. (Notice the Washington Duke Hotel in the background - large brick building to the left, as well as the exterior cladding that has been placed over the three mid-block buildings that were Belk Department Store - the way to 'modernize' in the 1950s. I'll come back to these buildings later.)


Piedmont Building, looking east, 1954
(Courtesy Duke University)

PiedmontBuilding_E_012858.jpg

01.28.58


Looking east at night, 02.01.58
(Courtesy Herald-Sun)


Piedmont building, looking east, ~1960
(Courtesy John Schelp)

Unfortunately, in November of 1965, this building burned.


Looking west from the Washington Duke Hotel, November 13, 1965.
(Courtesy Herald Sun)


Looking west-southwest from East Chapel Hill St., November 13, 1965.
(Courtesy Herald Sun)

This 1966 shot shows the building - which frankly looks salvageable in this photo - after the fire. It appears that the city may have planned to demolish it through urban renewal anyway, as it was appraised in 1964 by the urban renewal folks - before the fire.


Courtesy Durham County Library


View of the fire damage from the Snow Building, 11.15.65
(Courtesy Herald Sun)

In September, 1966, the building was torn down.


Courtesy Durham County Library

And thus attempt number one commenced to turn this focal point into a viable public space:


Creating "Five Points Park" - 10.19.67
(Courtesy Herald Sun)

And it became a bastion of peace and loveliness, frequented by folks out of the Chamber of Commerce brochures...


"Look Maude, it's a beautiful tree.....did you take the picture yet?" (03.30.68)
(Courtesy Herald Sun)

Wait, this isn't what we boostery folk planned on...


"Malcolm X demonstration, 02.21.69"
(Courtesy Herald Sun)

This may have been one of a handful of times that this plaza hosted this many people.

"I can't understand, we built such a lovely plaza in place of the building - why doesn't anyone use it?"

(Photo by George Pyne, courtesy Milo Pyne)

"That's better. Look how relaxed these young men are."

(Photo by George Pyne, courtesy Milo Pyne)

With the demolition of Durham Drug and Belk-Leggett, the 'plaza' has a large parking lot behind it. We're currently in the midst of remaking it as public space.

5ptseast2006.jpeg
Five Points, looking east, Fall 2006 (Gary Kueber)

Multiple buildings behind (to the east) of this building have been demolished as well, which is why this very, very important space seems so empty. It is truly unfortunate that the city is rebuilding a 'plaza' at this point. The last thing downtown Durham needs is more open space. This space desperately needs buildings to give the necessary definition to make it feel like city instead of emptiness. That's what happens when you have economic development people doing urban design. This plaza will likely be as empty as the 1970s "Muirhead Plaza" version it replaced.


Five Points, looking east, 07.24.08

(Gary Kueber)

Add new comment

347-351WMain_1950s.jpgThe best view I could find of the whole row is from the 1920s./sites/default/files/images/2014_9/FivePoints_S_1939.jpg343-345WMain_S_1953_0.jpg343-345WMain_E_1953.jpg

347-351 WEST MAIN STREET

347-451
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1920-1922
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,
,

Comments

No comments yet.

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 09/22/2014 - 11:33am by gary

Location

35° 59' 48.2244" N, 78° 54' 14.8608" W

Comments

347-451
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1920-1922
Construction type: 
Local historic district: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,
,

 

347-351WMain_1950s.jpg

347-351 West Main is part of a row of early 1920s-era row buildings along the south side of Five Points that replaced earlier industrial buildings and frame commercial structures. In 1923, National Dollar Store was the tenant at 347, Noell Brothers Hardware at 349, and Dixie Clothing Company at 351.

The earliest view I could find of the whole row is from the late 1920s, below. National Dollar Store had disappeared by 1928. 347 was then leased to Mrs. Osborne's Style Shop (with the Bluefield Coal and Coke Co. upstairs)

The best view I could find of the whole row is from the 1920s.
(Courtesy Duke Archives)

In 1932, Frank Critcher's Produce was at 347, with the Durham Dry Goods co. upstairs. 349 was the Independent Meat Market, and 351 the Joyce Food Store.

By 1937, ABC Lunch was established at 347, with the Art Display Co. upstairs. 349 housed Chicago Market Co., and 351 Staudt's Bakery.

1939 Duke Homecoming parade (Courtesy Retrochrome.net)

By 1941, 349 W. Main was the Liberty Market, and 351 W. Main was David's, a clothes store.

Below, a 1953 view showing a piece of 347 West Main, home of ABC Lunch. Specialties? Cigarettes and sandwiches, evidently.

343-345WMain_S_1953_0.jpg

Oh - and Barbecue.

343-345WMain_E_1953.jpg

 

347-351WMain_2_1950s.jpg

A 1950s era view that cuts off part of 347 West Main St., but shows the Liberty Market and Barringer-Whitfield furniture. These businesses remained in 1959.

libertymkt_wmain_1979.jpg

1979

The row of structures remains remarkably intact today. 

Looking south, September 2006.

347-351WMain_091011.jpg

09.10.11

As of 2011, 347 W. Main is home to Whiskey, a popular bar; 349 and 351 house offices.

347WMain_041911.jpg

04.10.11

04.27.13

Add new comment