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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The transformation of Mutual Community Savings Bank into swanky Hotel Durham

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 7:00 AM

For years, I despised this building, and took the architect's name in vain. The front is adorned with toothlike gold and white columns that threaten to bite anyone who walks beneath them. And is that a silo on the side of the building? But, over time, I warmed to the Mutual Community Savings Bank, with its desiccated fountain that doubled as a garbage can. It had possibility. Now, the old bank at 315 E. Chapel Hill St. is being transformed into Hotel Durham, a swanky 54-room boutique hotel equipped with a restaurant rooftop bar. It's scheduled to...

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Alley 26 loses one of its characters

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 8:10 AM

In the beginning, the only tree in Alley 26 endured darkness. The slot where it grew is so narrow that two adults cannot fit in it side-by-side, and light cannot reach some of its corners. Over time, the tree grew at least three stories tall and towered over part of the upper parking deck of the Jack Tar motel. Its branches stretched over the vacant lot of a former furniture warehouse. Protected by the buildings, it has withstood natural disasters—drought, floods, fire and snow—and manmade ones—the garbage that piled up at its base. I have long admired this "volunteer" tree—a...

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

For no other reason than I love trains

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 9:42 AM

One night in 1970, my mother was driving the family's red 1968 Chevelle, with my brother and I seated in the back. Even though we were in the city, I remember it being quite dark. Suddenly, my mother slammed the brakes, and out of the blackness rushed a train. It barely missed us. A foot, maybe. The crossing had no lights or bells or gates. My mother had stopped inexplicably, and she attributed it to divine intervention.  For several weeks before that night, she had dreamed that she was driving when she became enveloped in blackness. On the night of...

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Greystone Inn apartments decision delayed until December—at least

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 9:10 AM

A quick update on the proposed Greystone Inn apartment complex:  The project at Duke Street and Morehead Avenue was scheduled to come before the Historic Preservation Commission today, but Ron Horvath of Horvath Associates, the civil engineering firm working on the proposal, asked for a continuance until December. The HPC granted the continuance, the second for the project. Lomax Properties of Greensboro is the developer. The architect is redesigning the site to break the 140 apartments into smaller buildings, Horvath said. Currently, the plan calls for three apartment buildings. City-county planning staff has criticized the project for its mass and...

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