By Bijan Bayne Jan. 6th, 2020 ... (Durham is The Bull City), Jack Tar, and Littler. Its days were numbered. Academy of Music, looking northwest from W. Parrish and Corcoran. (Courtesy Durham County Library) Attempting to compete in the motel era, the proprietors of the Jack Tar (nee Washington Duke) Hotel sought to expand with motel space, including an integrated parking garage and swimming pool. Just don't take the elevator down to the parking entry-level, at night for sure anyway, the glassed-in entry doors are locked and if you step out of the elevator and it closes behind you and you somehow can't recall the elevator or the power went out or whatever, you'd be trapped in there and have to break your way out through the glass walls. The 'Oprah' is the latter. The former Jack Tar Motor Lodge in Durham, North Carolina was renovated and reopened as the first property in the Dream Hotel Group's new Unscripted Hotels brand. Formerly the Jack Tar Hotel that operated in the 1960s, Unscripted Durham offers 74 … (Also an addition since 2006.). I don't know if it functioned as a motel after the Washington Duke/Durham Hotel/Jack Tar Hotel went out of business, in the mid 1970s. As I said then, many of the design principles are solid here - hidden structured parking, ground floor retail, upper story residential. 09.11.61- Preparing to building the motel across the street. I saw the article about this in today's Herald-Sun. Durham's newest boutique hotel … Maybe update the facade with all tinted glass (sans 'Oprah')renovate the 1970s interior, re-open the pool...It would add more guest rooms and could be a pretty unique property. If it isn't, well, there's a lot of other planned new construction downtown that hasn't come out of the ground - not because developers aren't capable, but because the financing and tenants aren't there for it to make economic sense while we're still Recessing. I put together a little 'video' consisting of existing still frames of the hotel construction. As I recall it came down to not even being able to GIVE the building away, and it was costing them a fortune just to let it sit empty.". The Jack Tar Motel, colloquially known as the “Oprah Building”, was built in 1962. I cringe every time I look at that ugly "motel." I'd like to be optimistic about it - and the prospect of a place to sit and enjoy treats from Locopops on Market St. this summer sounds good. You can read the INDY Week story about the plans here. If anyone has any historic-related use for it, or would like a photo of it, please contact me through the Radiosonde Museum of North America. The whole mess looks like something out of a J G Ballard novel. The second project is developer Austin Lawrence Partners’ renovation of the former Jack Tar Motor Lodge. Jack Tar Hotel Renovation. You can read the INDY Week story about the plans here. I can remember staying there in the '60's when you could pull into the parking deck across the street and register via closed-circuit TV. Note in particular the skybridge that connects the new motel with the Washington Duke Hotel, directly west across Corcoran. During the summer months that was a second source of income for him. 1950s shot, looking northeast from W. Parrish and Market. Formerly the Jack Tar Hotel that operated in the 1960s, Unscripted Durham offers 74 boutique rooms and suites. They started the death of downtown with Cameron Village, yet are celebrated as "visionaries". (Courtesy Durham County Library), Replaced with the parking deck portion of the WDM (looking west-SW from Chapel Hill St.) By the mid-1970s, the hotel was evidently no longer profitable and was no longer being used, pending needed repair work. Surreal and not very attractive. It would be rad. My great uncle (his brother-in-law) worked the day shift. Austin Lawrence Partners purchased the property from Ronnie Sturdivant's heirs, primarily to provide additional parking for Pickle II: Downtown Boogie that they are building next door on the old Geer Building site. That entry is here. Every time I look at the Jack Tar, I think of the Hotel San Jose in Austin, which is "motor court" motel of a similar (but a little earlier) vintage, and has been renovated into one of the hippest places to stay in Austin. Rendering by Hook and Sawyer, 1902. Escape to our winter wonderland and enjoy views of Downtown Durham, weekly entertainment and signature bites and libations in an al fresco culinary driven environment. ), Below, near the completion of construction, looking northwest from Corcoran St. Claimed. Jack Tar: A Diner for Downtown Durham 11/27/2017 By magnoliawriting@gmail.com 3 Comments Durham restauranteur Gray Brooks, the owner of Pizzeria Toro and Littler , will soon be ready to reveal his latest project, Jack Tar and The Colonel’s Daughter – a diner-style restaurant and lounge. Durham The former Jack Tar Motor Lodge in downtown Durham will be rebranded as an Unscripted Hotel after its renovation is complete. (Courtesy Durham County Library). I am not a fan of mid-century, but processed a bit, this could be a funky-cool-retro location that I could really buy into. (Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection - Wyatt Dixon Collection). • 21C Museum blends a 125-room venue with a contemporary art museum, first-class spa and signature restaurant. Total city and county incentive: $1.2 million. (Courtesy Durham County Library), Completed Washington Duke Motel, late 1960s At the end, they tried to give it away. And whoever mentioned "surreal" in relation to the Oprah signage is right. It was later referred to as simply the "Durham Hotel". It is the same story for the structure Jack Tar replaced. (Courtesy The Herald-Sun), During construction Hello. I would like to talk to Ronnie Sturdivant about his plans for this site. If you didn't see it cycle, reload the page, as I had it cut off after 4 cycles. Attempting to compete in the motel era, the proprietors of the Jack Tar (nee Washington Duke) Hotel sought to expand with motel space, including an integrated parking garage and swimming pool. (Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection - Wyatt Dixon Collection), Rear of the Building, looking south-southwest from East Chapel Hill St., 1907 The renovated hotel has 74 rooms, a pool deck on the third floor, and restaurants on the ground floor. (Courtesy Durham County Library), Inexplicably, the site became a longstanding surface parking lot, commonly referred to as "Bare Square." The two buildings with frontage on Chapel Hill Street were automobile service-oriented from the early 20th century. It sits on the edge of CCB Plaza, and it was connected via skywalk to the original Washington Duke Hotel, which was across the street. Anyway, good to hear someone tell Durham's story in a language I understand. (Courtesy Duke Archives). The Oprah plea adds a surreal touch. It is also interesting to note that the motel was built in stages. This view from the 1910s shows only the northern building. I helped to harvest a lot of vegetables that my grandfather would sell while working night shift. Thanks. You can see the remaining older commercial structure at the southeast corner of East Chapel Hill St. and Corcoran in this photo. I've made another little 'movie' of a few still frames below. Looking west on Parrish St. I empathize with a general hunger for development to continue downtown, but given that there's vacant land just to the south of this that's undeveloped, and plenty of other vacant land around, I don't really see that taking this out is prudent or necessary. It was connected to the older hotel via a skybridge across Corcoran. But it's an awkward space. (Courtesy Durham County Library). The 21c Museum Hotel is … Looking north from Corcoran and Parrish, December 2006. The city commissioned architects Hook and Sawyer of Charlotte, who also executed the Southern Conservatory of Music and Fire Station #2, to design the structure. The rest of the building is just an eyesore - not just because it's modern, but because of the top-heavy form, the cut-out on the main facade, the blank wall on Chapel Hill Street, etc. It's in ratty shape, but if its aluminum and window walls were shined up and the nasty curtains removed and window A/Cs removed, I can picture some hipsters hanging out by the rooftop pool, overlooking the Bull. Durham is filled with the corpses of old brick buildings. The former Jack Tar Motor Lodge in Durham, North Carolina was renovated and reopened as the first property in the Dream Hotel Group's new Unscripted Hotels brand. Free WiFi. The Washington Duke was, however, segregated up until the 1960s. Start here: (Courtesy Durham County Library - Parnell), The downstairs bar (Courtesy Durham County Library - Parnell). Standing 16 stories tall at a cost $1.8 million, it was one of the most impressive hotel structures of its era. The back of the post office and the Trust Building are visible, and the front of the Jordan Building is visible at the end of Market St. Unscripted Durham opened July 20, 2017. Southeast corner of Chapel Hill Street and Corcoran, ~1920. Dramatic plays and musical comedies were regular attractions, and for a number of years, the theatrical season was opened by the appearance of Al G. Fields Minstrel. Check-in was a breeze and we were able to "upgrade" to a room with a view. The first floor contains retail and offices. These buildings would survive a few more years, but by 1966, that window-walled morsel of goodness known as the Washington Duke Motel just had to be expanded. (Courtesy Durham County Library). (Courtesy Duke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection - Wyatt Dixon Collection). Next to the Academy of Music (on the west side) was a city park; this was the original Rotary Park with its bandstand, which had been established in 1916 as the first public gift of the Rotarians. Ground floor retail, residential above, structured parking hiding behind are actually good design principles today. Notable structures surrounding it include (moving, roughly, left to right) the Temple building, the Trust Building, the Wright Corner, the old Post Office, and the Geer building 829-4570. In September, 1955, this building burned. Its wacky architecture speaks the language of the year it was built: 1962. Completed in 1903-1904 at a cost of $52,000, it contained the offices of the city government and a market on the first floor (thus Market Street;) the second floor was "almost entirely taken up" by a performance hall, the remainder being devoted to a "small city auditorium.". (Courtesy The Herald Sun). From the present-day (2011) location of Durham Central Park/ the Farmer's Market, looking south (just north of Hunt St.) (Courtesy Durham County Library). By 1963, the first stage of the Washington Duke Motel is complete. I really hope someone can 'educate' the new owners on the possibilities.. The southeast corner of East Chapel Hill Street and Corcoran Street had consisted of three primary buildings. Public meetings in the promotion of the city's interest also made use of the building a for a number of years the Elks' annual memorial services were held there. It is ironic and sad that the Washington Duke would be torn down, but this would survive... Why don't they reopen the rooftop swimming pool? They almost cut a deal with, of all things, the Boy Scouts of America, to use it as a national convention center of sorts--but the cost of fixing it up was too much. When I first wrote this I didn't realize that the indentation in the frontage was for a roof deck pool (those pictures were added later. When a 1980s push came along to build a hotel and convention center in downtown, Watts Hill made a push for his site, but the city, in its infinite wisdom, tore down the entire adjacent block (the 200 block of East Chapel Hill St.) instead. Building from the corner of Corcoran and Chapel Hill Street. Unscripted Durham is a hip spot in the former 1960s Jack Tar Hotel building. Would you please give me a call? Looking northeast, 1962. (Courtesy Herald-Sun). It was designed by Stanhope S. Johnson of Lynchburg, VA. Hotels & Inns Culture & Community Travel Resources Meetings & Events Sports Events ... “The Durham Crisis Response Center works with the community to end domestic and sexual violence through advocacy, education, support and prevention.” So, buy a crowler and support a good cause at the same time…it’s a win win. By the late 1960s, the remaining older structures on the southeast corner of Corcoran and East Chapel Hill would be demolished as well, and the Jack Tar Motel would expand to take up the entire block face between Parrish and Chapel Hill Streets, and a large portion of the block bounded by those two streets, Corcoran, and Orange Street. The impressive first floor was dampened by the decision to brick up the large windows - trying to give it that 'modern' look, I guess. (Courtesy Durham County Library). Ralph Rogers notes that it was the "Thomas Bookstore". A small tidbit I've noticed before - look at the alley on the east side of the building. He was from and lived in Granville County. Love the juxtaposition of the new traditional streetlamps with the window-walls. May concerts by prominent singers of the day were presented by the Durham Kiwanis Club and other organizations, and local talent shows attracted capacity audiences. It was later referred to as simply the "Durham Hotel". Anyone that has gone furniture shoppping recently should recognize the value of mid-century modern... Are the 'Jack Tar' and the Oprah motel the same building ? ), Although I'd rather have what was there before, I think it's rather cool urban design for its time. I grew up in Durham and was bored stiff with the a, My grandfather worked night shift at the parking garage. Washington Duke Hotel is in the background. But it was Necessary. In 1975, early one morning, the streets were closed and the hotel was imploded. I like to walk around late at night when I am down that way and taking the elevator up recently showed some notices posted for 'residents' that the electricity would be turned off for a few hours that week for some work being done. In the spirit of the American diner, but tailored to modern tastes and flair, Jack Tar & the Colonel’s Daughter opened Tuesday on the ground floor of … Jack Tar And The Colonel's Daughter nearby hotel search is centered on latitude 35.9965 & longitude -78.9010. The Durham Hotel. Looking south on Corcoran from East Chapel Hill. Go out drinking in Durham and stagger in to Jack Tar for some drunk person food (pro … This building is primarily Ronnie Sturdivant's homage to Oprah now. The building immediately to the east of the Hackney Block was the longtime home of Kimbrell's Furniture. Stokes Hall, at Corcoran and West Main Sts., had provided both performance and meeting space prior to the construction of the Academy of Music (including courtroom space prior to the construction of the courthouse,) but no longer operated after the opening of the new building. As a part of the streetscape work, these spaces are being turned into a brick plaza. A minimum food & beverage spend is required and based on party size. The more people I have talked to about growing up in Durham, the more I realize that this was one of those major life events that people remember with great clarity - just within the last month (May 2011) I've spoken to three people who were children at the time - all of whom remember with great detail where they were standing, what happened during, and what they did afterwards. George Watts Hill gets oddly reverential treatment in Preservation Society circles in Durham (with various awards named after him for big donors.) Somewhat shockingly, there is a move afoot to renovate the Jack Tar Motel. 1950s Bird's Eye aerial, looking southeast. The Washington Duke Hotel was constructed on the site between 1924 and 1925. Hotels Near Jack Tar And The Colonel's Daughter - Get Current Rates & … The best thing that I can say about it from a design perspective is that it has first floor retail (Blue Coffee, TJ Phat Wear), which is how we are trying to build parking garages now. Same old story. This picture shows a street-level view of the southern building, likely 1915-1925, looking east from Corcoran St. By the 1940s, the 202-204 Corcoran St. building was home to the Vogue Furniture Store. Pretty cool for 1968! DURHAM. Jack Tar Hotel (formerly Washington Duke Hotel) at … I am pretty sure that people live in this building on the upper floors. (Courtesy Durham County Library), The main entrance - approximately 1950s. The remaining buildings on the corner of Corcoran and Chapel Hill St, encased by the Washington Duke Motel. The Indy did a feature on the building in July 2014; editor Lisa Sorg was kind enough to share her photos with this text: These are photos of the inside, exterior and parking garage at the Jack Tar motel, taken in July 2014. I thought that the Jack Tar was a demolished taller hotel building located on The now-CCB Plaza ? THIS is the building that PD wants to make their poster child? The renovated hotel has 74 rooms, a pool deck on the third floor, and restaurants on the ground floor. I feel pretty confident that the Jack Tar could be added to the downtown National Register district as a contributing structure at this point, and be eligible for historic tax credits. I am an editor at The News & Observer. The Auto Gas and Storage being torn down (looking south from Chapel Hill St.) A friend of a friend was in high school in Durham when this occurred, and made a movie of the event for school, which is below. It was the city's primary performance venue - musical theater, orchestra, comedy acts - all performed at the Academy of Music. I loved the the homemade crullers (basically a churro-donut) with chantilly mascarpone and jam. Check it out • The Durham Hotel features 53 rooms in a five-story building with rooftop yoga and a bar with fantastic city views. 4.0-star Hotel Class. I'm not going to lie down in front of the bulldozer, but I think it's probably the kind of thing Durham's likely to demolish about 6 months before it becomes cool. The hotel also houses allday, a full-service grab-and-go coffee shop and restaurant, featuring Partner’s Coffee Roasters Estate, and the Patio, a seasonal rooftop pool that has a full-service restaurant and bar. And unlike the Durham Centre tower, it has retail space beneath its parking deck. The New Academy of Music was demolished. Please give me a call. The note about George Watts Hill being a hero of preservation made me think of the treatment the Yorks get in Raleigh. bit.ly / jack tar (remove the spaces - the spam filter is rejecting my link) To me the worst design element of this building is the overhang of the upper floors - makes it look fat and top-heavy. Adjacent to the Jack Tar, two hotels are under construction, raising practical questions of whether downtown can handle another. It takes a bit to get to the the actual demolition, but very worth watching. Open now : 08:00 AM - 10:00 PM. If it wasn’t for the growing need for parking downtown, the old Jack Tar Motor Lodge wouldn’t be re-opening Wednesday as a swanky, mid-century modern hotel. (Courtesy Durham County Library), Herald-Sun employees in Rotary Park - note the Academy of Music in the background. With that outdoor pool space, the retail below, and the downtown location (not to mention the extant parking), it is a great opportunjity for a savvy developer who understands how cool (and profitable) mid-century architeture can be. The site cost $16,000. Warning, the below photo is very grim, but it depicts a scene that shows the centrality of the hotel to the city. Tear down some of the best architecture in Durham (between this and Harwood Hall), but it's ok if you're a generous donor. I wonder whatever will become of this property. I also saw the Bob Ashley quote at the end, that "we (Preservation Durham) would be very concerned about the loss of that building.". Jane Ruffin. The first few times we went were late night ventures, and I think this is one of the times that Jack Tar shines. The bandstand at Rotary Park was moved to Bennett Place, where it still stands. (Courtesy Durham County Library). Thanks for your comment. (Courtesy Herald-Sun), By 1963, the first stage of the Washington Duke Motel is complete. The impressive first floor was dampened by the decision to brick up the large windows - trying to give it that 'modern' look, I guess. On June 17, 1909, the first Academy of Music was completely gutted by fire. That property is to be rebranded as the first Unscripted Hotel, a … From Chapel Hill Street, looking west-southwest. George Watts Hill, the owner of the building, made the decision to demolish the building. The hotel opens in January 2017. The Jack Tar Hotel was previously known as the Washington Duke Hotel, which was demolished in 1975. Looking northeast, 9/4/55. Operated by the Dream Hotel Group (DHG), the Jack Tar serves as the flagship of DHG’s newest brand – Unscripted. I hear you on this, and I would have fully agreed with you a few years ago (clearly I did, rereading what I wrote above); I've actually come around to like this building, personally. Spiffed up, these structures can look very cool. As another poster pointed out, the rooftop pool would be fun. (Courtesy Duke Archives), It was part of an active streetscape - people have told me of regularly going to the newsstand on the first floor. By the next view, from 1961, the eastern building is gone, and the Hackney Block is showing signs of neglect. Below, the walkway being taken down in preparation for demolition. Perhaps someday we'll get rid of the Washington Duke Motel ('Oprah') and build a new, trapezoidal building out to the new street-line. I believe the entire upstairs is vacant - definitely neither motel nor apartments. (Courtesy Durham County Library). Architecture has merit and WILL appeal to someone in the future - even if not for the original purpose. It's in ratty shape, but if its aluminum and window walls were shined up and the nasty curtains removed, I can picture some hip hanging out by the rooftop pool, overlooking the Bull. The staff at the hotel could not have been any nicer. In-and-of-itself, I think the window-wall design could have some good retro value (just updating the colors/painting the frames would help.) The walls remained upright immediately following the fire. I agree - you could relax in your lounge chair and gaze out on the miles of brick beach below. Austin Lawrence Partners purchased the building from the Sturdivants for $5 million; the developer plans to restore it to a boutique hotel with rooftop pool, bar and lounge. (Courtesy The Herald-Sun). There is no telling how many pounds of tomatoes that he sold during the years that he worked there. As previously noted in the post for the Washington Duke Motel, the owners had attempted to keep up with the motel era by demolishing the buildings across Corcoran St. to build a motel structure with a rooftop pool. New Academy of Music, 1910s Located underneath Unscripted—and as an homage to the old space—Jack Tar bears the name of the former motor lodge that the … The fire was discovered by employees of the Durham Morning Herald, whose office was directly across Market St. And the likeliest outcome is that this "eyesore" becomes yet another empty swath of dirt, brimming with development 'potential', but no developers. The hotel was an icon - seemingly, among those I've spoken with, beloved by those who grew up here mid-20th century. While the condition of this building is still poor, I've come to appreciate mid-century modern architecture a great deal more than I did when I wrote the above five years ago. "Walker, Raleigh Man, Leaps from the top of Washington Duke Hotel" - 12.26.52 (Herald-Sun) This is from the deck, ~2 stories up, looking east down West Parrish Street. Roger Perry, developer of Meadowmont and Woodcroft has optioned the property, which doesn't mean much, despite the excited frothing of some folks. Interestingly, the auto-oriented building on the corner has been coverted back to retail. It is scheduled to open in 2016. Under Nick Tennyson's administration and at DDI's urging, an important pillar of downtown revitalization became the construction of a direct connection between Corcoran Street and Foster Street. 2008 Preservation Durham Ghost [building] Tour: Hotels and Movie Theaters. The Jack Tar is something different. Take a breath... My grandfather worked night shift at the parking garage booth for a number of years, until his retirement somewhere around 1980. Brad Bradsher, whose mother was the convention / sales manager for the hotel in the 1960s and 1970s told me about his experience of the hotel in that era: "I spent many an afternoon roaming around the halls in the early '70's. Thank god someone else thinks the road connection through there made no sense at all. Thanks. As of 2006, it is owned by Ronnie Sturdivant, who also owns the empty former Holiday Inn on Chapel Hill St (Urban Merchant Center) and really seems to want Oprah. The distinction is Jack Tar Hotel versus Jack Tar Motel. In 1924, the decision was made to build a new performance venue (the Durham Auditorium, now the Carolina theater) and to move the city hall into the former high school. Although I'd rather have what was there before, I think it's rather cool urban design for its time. Please see below for photos of the original Jack Tar Motel as well as photos of the new Unscripted Hotel Durham above. The market, however, was moved out of the building, relocating to the area between Corcoran, Morgan and Holland. It was imploded in 1975, and its loss was mourned by many in Durham. I don't know JG Ballard, but the building is certainly cringe-worthy. moved out of the building, relocating to the area between Corcoran, Morgan and Holland. That was his best seller. To me, that just about sums up what's wrong with traditional preservation societies. Jack Tar is one of those sneaky Durham restaurants that you have to know when to visit. (Courtesy Durham County Library). units. A boutique hotel fit for rock stars and jetsetters, the Unscripted Hotel is a celebratory hub of creativity, with a rooftop pool as its irresistible centerpiece. (It has become known as "The Oprah Building" in common Durham parlance. For our debut property, Unscripted has planted its flag in Durham, North Carolina and given its historic location on 202 N Corcoran Street a second life as a vibrant, community-focused hospitality destination. I've seen hundreds of photos of group meetings, important speakers, dances, dinners, etc. (Courtesy Durham County Library), Below, the Washington Duke in situ, soon after completion. Just after the turn of the century, the City decided to replace the scattered offices of the city along Main St. as well as the old city market that was supplanted by Union Station with a new, impressive municipal building known as the Academy of Music, which would be located between East Chapel Hill St., Corcoran, Market, and Parrish Sts. (Courtesy Herald-Sun). Wyatt Dixon relates: "The Academy played a major role in providing entertainment for hte people of the community. Cool cities that Durham would like to emulate are leveraging the new hip-ness of mid-century modern. By 1956, Kimbrell's has been torn down and turned into a parking lot. Really, Bob? Swimming pool at the Jack Tar, 09.08.63 Durham, NC. Looking south from East Chapel Hill St. and Market. 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