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Old 01-11-2009, 10:52 AM
 
9,074 posts, read 18,633,913 times
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Yesterday while in Durham I took a quick tour of the area known as the American Tobacco Historic District (http://www.americantobaccohistoricdistrict.com/about-us.html - broken link). I am still learning about it and by no means am an expert on the area so Durhamites please feel to chime in with comments on what it has to offer. Here is what I pulled from the website about the campus:

"The American Tobacco Campus is located beside the Durham Bulls Triple-A baseball park, adjacent to a new 2,800-seat performing arts center. The campus features an on-site YMCA, public green space and biking trails, and five restaurants. American Tobacco is home to some of the most prominent businesses in the region, including the nationally recognized public broadcasting station, WUNC Radio"

Looks like a great place that is only getting better in my opinion. I am looking forward to catching some music on the lawn there this spring. It was getting late in the day when I was there and the lighting was not too good, but here a bunch of pictures I grabbed while the sun was still up.

Map showing location of the area


View of just one of the buildings in the campus from the DPAC parking area


Some of the cool brick facades








Security guy on a Segway




The Lucky Strike Water Tower






Home of the local NPR Radio Station (WUNC)












A look inside the windows of one of the buildings (I think this space is rented out for events)
























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Old 01-11-2009, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill
1,246 posts, read 3,008,827 times
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Cool photos. I had no idea the American Tobacco District looked like that. I'll have to check it out soon.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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Very nice photographs. It gets pretty hopping there before Bulls games.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:31 AM
 
Location: SW Durham, NC
1,019 posts, read 1,932,223 times
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Very, very nice!! Isn't this just so cool! Thank you for showing off our city - we're very proud of what a showplace it's becoming downtown!
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Efland
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Wow! More great photos! I really do love hanging out in the ATHD, so thanks for showing it off!
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Back in the ROC
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Very nice pictures of our beautiful crime-ridden little cesspool. Thank you.

And yes, that empty space (Bay 7, I believe) is rented out for events. I have been to a few there, and they really do it up nicely. The pictures of it empty and in the daylight don't even approach doing that room justice.

Edit: Also, yes, it does get hopping before and after Bulls games, but I've been there a few nights on the weekend in the last few months, and it's hopping then, too!

There will be a high-end steakhouse, Ben Benson's, also coming to the complex in 2009.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Louisburg, NC
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Wow... Durham is my hometown. I grew up with those old buildings when they were still in their heyday and going downtown meant the strong, perfumey smell of tobacco. The tobacco warehouses were used for everything from July 4th celebrations to country and later rock and r&b concerts and the occasional parking spot for teenagers. I have great memories from my 1950's childhood of downtown Durham and its nostaligic to look at them now. Comfortable.

Both my great-grandfather and grandfather were foremen at American tobacco. The tobacco industry employing many thousands transformed Durham from tiny town to thriving city and of course, helped create Duke University. Imagine, Duke medical center and university respected and revered around the world, built upon the money made from tobacco.

Those buildings are an important part of Durham's history. I cannot wait to get back there and hope there is still some lingering tobacco aroma.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Back in the ROC
675 posts, read 1,191,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonswoods View Post
Imagine, Duke medical center and university respected and revered around the world, built upon the money made from tobacco.
Indeed... Tobacco made popular by union soldiers heading through the area on their way back north, no less.

History's full of wealthy families putting their names on things to detract from how they made their fortune. Look into the story of the Nobel family sometime...
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:28 PM
 
Location: 27609
500 posts, read 717,773 times
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Wow! Those pictures are awesome. I was born in Durham and lived there until I was 11, and I think I remember those areas being pretty run down back then (80s - early 90s). Glad to see they are making a comeback.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Louisburg, NC
45 posts, read 114,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyO View Post
Indeed... Tobacco made popular by union soldiers heading through the area on their way back north, no less.

History's full of wealthy families putting their names on things to detract from how they made their fortune. Look into the story of the Nobel family sometime...
Well... I didn't want to go into the negatives, but they are impossible to ignore.

Most of my career was spent in inhalation toxicology in a famous little institute in the RTP, so I am intimately familiar with tobacco toxicity, the rich and powerful who benefited from it and the overt coverup that went on for decades. Nor did I want to speak of the powerful tobacco lobby, Jesse Helms or the lung cancer that killed three members of my husband's family.

It will be interesting to watch how the newly elected Democratic Senator taking Liddy Dole's place handles the tobacco lobby from NC.
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