|Free House to Move in Golden Belt|
Durham's Golden Belt National Register Historic District is one of the Bull City's actively unfolding stories of preservation success. Interested in being part of that story? There's a free house for the moving in the historic district.
The Golden Belt neighborhood was built to house workers at the Golden Belt Manufacturing Company, a mill complex built starting in 1901 that produced bags primarily for packaging tobacco. The enterprise thrived as part of Durham's tobacco empire, and as the decades passed the original company houses were joined by dozens of others in bungalow, shotgun and other forms.
"The streets comprising the National Register district were unconnected to the meager street grid of Durham in the early 1900s," says Endangered Durham blogger and Scientific Properties head, Gary Kueber. "It remains almost a set of little blocks unto itself."
These blocks, which were placed on the National Register in 1985, fell on hard times when Golden Belt shut its doors in the early 1990s. But in 2008, the mill building came back to life, redeveloped by Scientific Properties as a a multi-use arts and living complex and the largest LEED-Gold-certified project in the Southeast. Now home to condominiums, artist studios and concerts, Golden Belt has helped shift the trajectory of the neigborhood.
Scientific Properties has been working in the old mill village as well — purchasing, restoring and reselling houses in the western part of the National Register district. A variety of mostly young adults and families have been moving in, says Kueber, drawn by the historic character, affordable prices, proximity to downtown and an active neighborhood association.
The available house — constructed around 1918 — is currently located at 1208 Wall Street, on the east side of Alston Avenue. It has had some changes but retains key elements of its interior and exterior woodwork.
Vacant lots are available in different parts of the historic district. Moving houses is a complicated, but not impossible, task, and someone seeking to reintegrate this piece of Durham history back into its neighborhood.
Golden Belt National Register Historic District
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