Durham Station

Project Background

The City of Durham has an opportunity to create a more inviting space for Durham Station users and encourage increased transit use based on improvement needs of the center plaza landscaping. The Cultural & Public Art Program and Transportation Department will commission an artist and/or artists team to create three temporary artistic sitting structures along the plaza area for high-volume use. The Durham Station is located at 515 W. Pettigrew Street, Durham NC 27701. Durham Station was designed by Phil Freelon and completed by The Freelon Group in 2008, soon to receive a 2009 Golden Leaf Award for Community Appearance. 

Artist(s) will be selected from the Pre-Qualified Artists Registry by a panel of community members, Go Durham staff, City administrative staff, and Public Art Committee members. For more information about how to apply to the Pre-Qualified Artist Registry, please visit the Cultural & Public Art Program’s website, here: https://durhamnc.gov/2984/Durham-Calls-for-Artists. The deadline to apply for this public art project is Friday, April 30, 2021 by 11:59 P.M. EST. 

The Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) will provide funding for the public art amenities at Durham Station. For the FY 2020-25 CIP, capital projects are funded through impact fees, enterprise funds, grants, the capital project fund, pay-go funding, and debt financings. More information about the CIP process and funding can be found here

Durham Station Background & History 

"Durham Station Transportation Center is the transportation hub at the heart of the City of Durham that provides multiple alternatives to automobile traffic, an essential component needed to support more densely populated urban areas. The project, made possible by a combination of city, state, and federal funding, ensures more efficient transportation throughout the Triangle.  

The two-story, 10,300 Sq. Ft. facility serves four and one-half million of DATA’s five million annual passengers. The site boasts twenty canopied bus bays, six parking spaces for taxicabs, disability parking, short-term parking, “kiss and ride” drop-off, and bicycle racks all organized around a transparent, day-lit passenger terminal that includes ticketing, waiting, package express, a driver’s lounge, security, and space for future amenities. The high performance glass enclosed open environment encourages social interaction while maintaining safety and comfort for waiting patrons. 

The design of Durham Station references the City of Durham’s rich cultural history by using materials selected to respect the visual and tactile texture of masonry found in Durham’s tobacco warehouses. The predominantly glass exterior walls offer a secure environment, visibility of transportation activity, and views of the downtown area, Historic American Tobacco, West Village, and the surrounding areas. Articulated metal roof forms, masonry, and concrete embraces the location’s industrial context while acknowledging the dynamic movement of Durham Station’s transit program and its adjacent intermodal transit facilities. 

In addition to the high performance glazing, generous roof overhangs and solar shading devices mitigate solar head gain while maintaining visual transparency. More than 30 percent below standard energy usage, the building not only serves sustainable transit practices but embraces energy conservation within its own footprint."
Source: https://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/durham-station-transportation-center-1141 

Proposed Timeline

Tuesday, April 13, 2021Pre-Qualified Artist Registry promotion for Durham Station begins
Friday, April 30, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. ESTPre-Qualified Artist Registry Deadline 
Week of May 10, 2021: Notify Artist(s) of Artist Selection Panel Decision
July 2021: Design Development and Community Engagement with Artist(s)
August 2021: Designs shared with the Community    
September/October 2021: Fabrications & Installation: Installation based on weather 


Durham Station
515 W. Pettigrew Street
Durham, NC 27701

Durham Station's central plaza area between the pick-up and drop-off locations.

Pictured: The proposed temporary public art amenities will be located within the green highlighted pictured above. 

Artist Selection Process

Artist Selection Process: Pre-Qualified Artist Registry. The deadline to submit to the Pre-Qualified Artist Registry to be eligible to create public art at Durham Station is Friday, April 30, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST. Apply today!

The Pre-Qualified Artist Registry has a rolling deadline for other upcoming public art projects. 

The City of Durham’s Cultural and Public Art Program invites artists and artist teams to submit portfolios to be selected to join the City of Durham Pre-Qualified Artist Registry. This registry serves as a resource for the program’s selection of artists and artist teams to create City cultural and public art projects. Candidates must either identify as or partner with a professional artist, designer, or fabricator, eligible to work in the United States, and age 18 and older. The City encourages people from diverse backgrounds to apply. Candidates are eligible regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identification, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical ability. All applications must be in digital format and include an artist statement, photos of previous work, a personal resume(s), and references.

Full submission guidelines, project details, and submission portal are available here.


The total maximum budget for this project is $50,000, including engagement, artist-design, fabrication and documentation of the artwork on site.


For information about the public art project, please contact the Cultural & Public Art Program staff here: 

Alexandra Benson
Cultural & Public Arts Program Assistant
Email: alexandra.benson@durhamnc.gov
Phone: 919-560-4197, ext. 21238

Rebecca Brown
Cultural & Public Arts Program Manager
Email: Rebecca.Brown@durhamnc.gov
Phone: 919-560-4197, ext. 21245.