|Carraway Award of Merit: Colin & Deanna Crossman|
For restoration of the King’s Daughters Inn in Durham, a neoclassical brick structure built in 1924 for use as a retirement home for women. The Crossmans converted it into a luxury bed-and-breakfast inn while retaining much of the original architectural detail.
The King’s Daughters Inn in Durham is a 17,000-square-foot building across the street from Duke University’s East Campus. The 1924 neoclassical brick building was constructed by a local chapter of the International Order of the King’s Daughters and Sons, a Christian service organization.
Originally intended as a retirement home for women, the home gradually lost clientele as more upscale facilities were constructed nearby. By 2006 the building’s 33 bedrooms were home to only three women. The organization closed the home and put the building on the market. The building would require a total renovation.
Everyone knew it would take someone special to see the potential in the King’s Daughters property, and Colin and Deanna Crossman fit the bill. The Crossmans met as graduate students while restoring old houses across the street from each other, and they spent their honeymoon at the General Contracting School in Maine.
In 2008, the couple began restoration, converting the tired building into a luxury bed-and-breakfast. They did away with dormitory-style baths and combined small rooms to create more spacious and comfortable accommodations for their guests. Public spaces were painstakingly preserved, and the front entry was stripped of unsightly 1960s fire-code alterations to reveal a magnificent grand staircase.
In recognition of the original King’s Daughters mission, the Crossmans commissioned a mural for an upstairs hallway depicting a ladies tea party from the 1920s. In the attic, they created a loft-like space for their own residence — with bedrooms, a living room, and a large chef’s kitchen.
On opening night, April 18 of this year, the inn was filled with local residents who had bid for the opportunity to become the first overnight guests at the “new” historic inn.
For their work and vision in giving new life to the former King’s Daughters Home, Preservation North Carolina is pleased to present the 2009 Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit to Colin and Deanna Crossman.