Inside Liberty Warehouse, a hidden history | Editor | Indy Week
INDY Week editor Lisa Sorg's blog

Archives | RSS

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Inside Liberty Warehouse, a hidden history

Posted by on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM

For several years, the INDY stored copies of the newspaper at the historic Liberty Warehouse on Rigsbee Street in Durham. Early on Wednesday mornings, the trucks from Fayetteville, where the INDY is printed, would unload the papers; and our delivery drivers would then distribute them Triangle-wide.

We now use a warehouse in Raleigh and a new one in Durham, as it's likely that the former tobacco auction house, with its leaky roof and its state of general disrepair, will eventually be torn down. Since part of its roof collapsed after a heavy rain more than two years ago, displacing the warehouse's many tenants, Liberty has become one symbol of problematic development in Durham. The city ordered Greenfire Development to repair the building several times, threatening the company with daily fines. But ultimately, the city let Greenfire, which owned many troubled properties in Durham, financially off the hook.

Greenfire sold Liberty and it appears that site will become part of the voracious redevelopment of Old North Durham and the Central Park district: Cocoa Cinnamon, Fullsteam, the Surf Club, Motorco, Geer Street Garden and the Bar have turned that corridor—which until the last several years, was inhabited primarily by Lloyd's Lounge—into Durham's new happening place. I've even heard the growth described as the "Brooklynization" of Durham. 

Before the INDY recently moved its papers out of Liberty, I took these photos. Liberty still smells faintly of tobacco; there are still numbers for the auction stalls hanging from the ceiling. Some parts of the wooden floor are still sound. Curiously, there is no women's restroom. The tobacco's auction house was a man's world. 

For What It's Worth is the editor's blog for the INDY. It documents life in the Triangle in photographs and stories.

Tags: , , , ,

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Editor

Twitter Activity


ProudlyUnaffiliated.....Well You sure wrote a fkn mouthful about shit unrelated to this story and added your political twist and felt …

by Tony D on Why did Craig Hicks kill three Muslim students? Because he lost his humanity. (Editor)

Chris, I used a zoom lens!

by Lisa Sorg on Durham is a city of things unnoticed: Such an odd find at the Jack Tar Motel (Editor)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation