Jack Tar Motel, Durham, NC

This recent article in Durham’s Herald-Sun newspaper reminded me that I have never featured all of the mid-century mundane buildings I documented in Durham, a city with a wealth of mid-century treasures.

This one here is the Jack Tar Motel from 1963. The structure is part parking garage and part motel (now largely empty), with ground floor retail. There is original detailing such as the stone veneer on the storefronts and enamel paneling above (which may have been painted as the original panels were blue not green). There was also a pool on the terrace although it’s unclear if it remains.  Open Durham has several historic images of the motel and lots of good backstory. The complex abuts other nearby modernist structures and Preservation Durham included the Chapel Hill Street corridor’s mid-century buildings in its 2011 list of Places in Peril

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