Successful Downtown Revitalization: Durham, NC

December 13, 2013 8 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Much of Downtown Jacksonville's historic buildings have been demolished in previous decades. Preserving what's left may be vital to downtown's rebirth. To see the importance of historic preservation and adaptive reuse in a downtown setting, Metro Jacksonville takes a trip to Durham, North Carolina.

Government Services District

The Government Services District lies just southeast of the old city's center and is home to most city and county offices.

Durham County Human Services building opened in November 2013. The $90 million, 300,000 square-foot building houses the Department of Social Services, the Alliance Behavioral Healthcare office and the Department of Veterans Services.

The 10-story, $120 million Durham County Justice Center opened in 2013. The 318,533 square foot building houses the Durham County Sheriff's Office, District Attorney's Office and 20 courtrooms.

Built to LEED Gold Standards, the complex includes lawns on its roofs for insulation and runoff capture.

Golden Belt

The Golden Belt District forms the Southeast section of Downtown Durham. It is anchored by a fully restored textile mill (Golden Belt) that has been repurposed to house art space, studios, offices, retail, lofts, and a restaurant. In recently years, the district has been the location of several infill multifamily residential developments.

Downtown Durham tour by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at

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