Durham Development
Continues

From the publisher’s desk:

I have been thinking back on the “Durham Under Development” art show that I coordinated with the Pleiades Gallery in February of 2016. At the time I remember having a conversation in the lobby of The Durham Hotel with a then Durham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau official.

I remember sneaking in with my camera when The Durham looked like this

I remember sneaking in with my camera when The Durham looked like this

 

inside The Durham Hotel under construction

inside The Durham Hotel under construction

I remember this person telling me that development in Durham was in baseball terms, no further along than the second or third inning. They said that long time citizens might view it one way, but that the developers knew otherwise.

This was a hard truth that has taken time for me to internalize. But as I drove down Morris Street the other day, I felt it deeply. There are three mammoth new buildings overlooking Durham Central Park. The sheer tonnage of materials brought into Durham to build them boggles the mind. The view from the green roof adjacent to the DCRI building has been shuttered.

Morris Street

Morris Street

Morris Street

Morris Street

This parking deck is now between the green roof and Durham Central Park

This parking deck is now between the green roof and Durham Central Park

What's going in

What’s going in

I don’t know when the first inning was for this round of Durham development.

I do know at the time we were putting together “Durham under Development” at Pleiades, twenty some-odd months ago, The Chesterfield was still under construction. Developer Josh Parker graciously helped jury works into the show. A work of Kim Wheaton’s in the show, pictured The Chesterfield like this.

Kim Wheaton's Chesterfield

Kim Wheaton’s Chesterfield

Today it has beautiful interior atrium. It has soaring ceilings and the promise for local neighbors like Parker and Otis and Torrero’s of many hungry mouths to feed.

photo by Oak City CRE

photo by Oak City CRE

I don’t know what inning it is now in Durham development.

I used to park in the Chapel Hill Street lot frequently when we were working on “Durham under Development”. It gave me an excuse to go by Loaf bakery on my way to the Pleiades. Sometimes I went the other way, so I could pop something in the mail at the Post Office.2

They’ve since added street meters and raised the prices for the garage parking. I accept it. But it won’t be the last time parking prices go up.

There’s a fantastic art exhibit called “The Fence” surrounding that parking lot right now. It is part of the Click! Photography Festival. I am delighted.

The Fence exhibit in Durham

The Fence exhibit in Durham

But the other day, trying to cut toward the post office, past the chain link fences holding up the photos, I ran into a newly installed wall around the area where they keep the dumpsters and their used to be a box for the Independent Weekly.3

Suddenly, I was disconcerted. Even my cut thru’s are changing in Durham. I’ve walked down Parrish Street past Loaf a half hundred times and accepted the reality of chain link fence in that block for some time to come.

May 2016 chain link on Parrish

May 2016 chain link on Parrish

But, et tu, Orange Street?

How many innings to go for Durham development?

 

 

 

Notes

1 Which was originally slated to be named The Mutual Hotel, if you can believe that…

2 Inveterate letter writer here.

3 Remembering further back when that was the name.

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

Be first to comment