The transformation of Mutual Community Savings Bank into swanky Hotel Durham | Soapboxer
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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.

click to enlarge Before: the Mutual Community Savings Bank - LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg
  • Before: the Mutual Community Savings Bank



click to enlarge After: the Mutual Community Savings Bank building, 315 E. Chapel Hill St. - LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg
  • After: the Mutual Community Savings Bank building, 315 E. Chapel Hill St.






























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 open next year. Recently, the letters were removed from the back of the building.

I've been thinking a lot about the friction points in Durham: The places where new collides with the old, wealth abuts poverty, promise brushes against adversity. This block of Chapel Hill Street is one of these places: Next door to the future hotel is the old Bargain Furniture/Organic Transit building, where homeless people sleep in the alcove at night. One evening, I saw two men sleeping there, and on a recent morning, I noticed they had made their beds and headed out for the day.

The homeless person made his or her bed before leaving for the day. This is in the alcove of the old Bargain Furniture building, next to Hotel Durham - LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg
  • The homeless person made his or her bed before leaving for the day. This is in the alcove of the old Bargain Furniture building, next to Hotel Durham


The lobby in July, before major construction started - LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg
  • The lobby in July, before major construction started

The soon-to-be Hotel Durham - LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg
  • The soon-to-be Hotel Durham

click to enlarge Behind Holland Alley - LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg
  • Behind Holland Alley

Taken from the top of the former Jack Tar motel across the street - LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg
  • Taken from the top of the former Jack Tar motel across the street



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