Architectural Inventory Update

Over the next few years, the Durham City/County Planning Department and Preservation Durham will be working together to update to the Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory (last completed in 1982). The inventory was initially conducted in 1980 and 1981 to comprehensively look at the history, architecture and development patterns of Durham. Over 900 structures built prior to 1940 were inventoried (over 600 of which are described or pictured in the final inventory book) and brief histories are provided of approximately 30 Durham neighborhoods and their patterns of development, organized chronologically. This document does excellent work describing the social and physical historical context of our community through 1940. We are now looking to bring this work up-to-date with additional documentation of structures and neighborhoods developed after 1940.

In order to aid in the collection of data for the inventory update effort, Durham Planning and Preservation Durham are putting on a series of community meetings where residents can learn how to input information into the Open Durham database to assist in collecting robust data for the inventory. 

Why Should I Get Involved?

  • Residents have the unique opportunity to help document their neighborhoods and their property's history.
  • This community-led effort will help us record the physical history of structures as well as the stories tied to these places in our community.
  • The information collected for the survey will help guide Durham in determining how and what to preserve of its physical and social history.
  • The Architectural Survey is a portrait of Durham's built environment. It reflects the changes to the landscape over time, and helps us all understand better our sense of place. 
  • This partnership will be innovative by leveraging the open-source online resource, OpenDurham, so that all citizens can actively participate in the process, by uploading smartphone images, histories, recordings, and more, as they relate to buildings, homes, and places they are connected to, or see every day!
Join Preservation Durham and the Durham City/County Planning Department at one of four workshops to share your stories about Durham. Workshops run from 6-8 PM on the following dates:

4/27: Durham County Library: North Regional Branch, 221 Milton Road
6/15: Durham County Library: Southwest Branch, 3605 Shannon Road
9/14: Durham County Library: South Branch, 4505 S Alston Avenue
11/16: Durham County Library: East Branch, 211 Lick Creek Lane