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Old Posted Jul 15, 2019, 8:32 PM
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North Carolina 2019: DURHAM

Boy, I haven't posted a photo thread in a long time. But I'm feeling the itch, so let's kick off a thread series with a quick Durham post. It's easy and short.

The first half of 2019 was the most North Carolina-y of my life. Between January and the 4th of July, I visited the state on 5 separate occasions, all to different destinations. I was in Duck, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, Asheville, and Durham.

NC cities are interesting in a sort of unique way. 100 years ago none of them were large. There were *zero* NC cities among the 100 largest in the US from the Civil War until World War 2. The entire state was basically absent from the era of most extreme urbanization in American history. As a result, today NC has a ton of medium-sized metro areas that all have small cores, surrounded by surburbia. Population doesn't really predict what you'll find in terms of urbanity, the way you'd expect it to.

Here's Durham

Railroad tracks run right through the middle of town. They make for nice views, but cut the city in two.




Durham's tallest building, the 356' University Tower, is out in the suburbs. Downtown tops out in the 200-300' range, with this 1937 art deco building and 2018 residential tower dominating the center of town.






The downtown core is pretty intact in terms of urbanism. That is to say, it's not overrun with parking lots like some cities. And it has a nice mix of architecture.










But it's also tiny, and pretty quite. This was on the late end of lunchtime on a Monday.














The tall 2018 residential tower preserved the historic facades along one side. It's a nice effect.




Off to one side of downtown there's a warehouse district. I was only in Durham a couple hours and didn't get much chance to explore this part.




The warehouse district is where you'll find Durham's train station. It's a converted warehouse building.






North Carolina has better Amtrak service than you might expect, compared to most other southern or interior states. Certainly nothing like the northeast, but it does at least exist. The state subsidizes an NC-only route that increases the number of trains significantly beyond what it would have based on long-haul lines only.




On the other side of the tracks you'll find Durham's main bus station.








Durham and Raleigh (and some other cities nearby) all have separate bus systems, but recently they semi-merged into a semi-unified brand.

The old buses look like this:




The new ones look like this. In Raleigh they say "Go Raleigh" and are red instead of blue:




Regardless, the scooters and here too:



The end.

Expect more threads whenever I get photos off my camera and feel like posting :-)
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2019, 10:43 PM
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Cool pics! NC is an interesting place.

At first glance it looks like a person with really short legs is standing on the table

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Old Posted Jul 15, 2019, 11:25 PM
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Nice shots.

Durham seems to have some nice old buildings. It looks pretty boring and lifeless though.
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Old Posted Jul 16, 2019, 12:46 AM
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I am really really looking forward to seeing your series of Duck, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, Asheville photos, really, NC cities are relatively rare on this forum.
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Old Posted Jul 17, 2019, 6:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JMKeynes View Post
Nice shots.
This.

Quote:
Durham seems to have some nice old buildings. It looks pretty boring and lifeless though.
It's my understanding that the livelier side of downtown Durham is the Brightleaf Square area with the restored brick warehouses and industrial buildings. Also the area perks up whenever school is in session at Duke University. Meanwhile, the stadium and the performing arts center always draw crowds whenever there are events at either one.
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Old Posted Jul 17, 2019, 7:00 PM
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Thanks for sharing! It indeed is nice to see some NC on here (sadly I don't get my camera out much these days). I wouldn't call Durham's downtown boring - there's plenty to do, but it can feel oddly quiet for a city of its size. On the other hand, I use the bus station and Amtrak station somewhat regularly and they are fairly nice, well-used facilities for a small Southern city.
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Old Posted Jul 18, 2019, 1:05 AM
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Looks like a very well-kept little city with a great old building stock. Some really nice art deco buildings in those photos. Looking forward to your other NC tours.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2019, 4:17 AM
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Nice downtown.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2019, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Durham's tallest building, the 356' University Tower, is out in the suburbs. Downtown tops out in the 200-300' range, with this 1937 art deco building and 2018 residential tower dominating the center of town.
I remember when University Tower was constructed, we used to drive by and count the floors as it would rise out of the forrest just off of 15/501.

The locals called it "The Green Pickle" back then. Maybe they still do today? We used to go to brunch at University Club, on the top floor, which if my memory serves me correctly, it was the 17th floor -- which seemed like I was on the top floor of the Empire State Building at the time.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 3:07 PM
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i just had the umm, pleasure of being stuck in your airport all this past sunday night and monday morning due to weather back home, so thanks for this nice thread its making me like you again raleigh-durham --- ha!
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Old Posted Jul 29, 2019, 4:30 PM
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It looks pretty nice! I was under the impression that Durham would have more highrises, though. Durham is a good-sized city, and they have a AAA baseball team, which indicates a larger city/county/metro population. I don't know if the Durham Bulls try and get people from Raleigh or Cary or wherever to come to games there (Raleigh has their own team, but out in the country to the east of the city).
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Old Posted Aug 5, 2019, 1:03 PM
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We need more of these NC pictures... Let's see some Greensboro!

Or some such.
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2019, 10:44 PM
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That's a pretty handsome new residential tower for a city of Durham's size. I'd readily take a dozen of those for my city, Saskatoon, which is fairly similar in population.
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