History seeps from the bricks of the former tobacco warehouses at the historic Brightleaf Square, originally built at the turn of the 20th century. Developed to support the booming tobacco industry in the late 70s and early 80s, these 40-year-old warehouses undergo a multi-tiered renovation to modernize the property and offer the community of nearby Duke University and downtown Durham updated, accessible retail and office space.
As a historical piece of the local community, preserving and protecting the notable Brightleaf Square was critical. With guidance from the Durham’s Historic Preservation Commission, the project team worked closely alongside the owner, designer, and trade partners to retain the historical significance of the property, while reinvigorating the space for community members to enjoy once again.
The initial stage of this multi-phase project included a full reconfiguration of the existing entryway structures and streetscapes abutting W. Main Street for the Brightleaf Square – North Building. The new elevated terrace and outdoor seating area includes weathering steel and concrete walls, brick paver hardscapes, integral planters, as well as contemporary lighting and furnishing.
To improve accessibility throughout the property, the interior spaces are entirely reconfigured, entry vestibules are refreshed, and electrical, sewer, water, and fire systems are upgraded. A central urban courtyard connects the different buildings and provides a welcoming gathering space that mirrors the friendly atmosphere of the neighboring community.
A significant amount of underground utility work was carefully coordinated and completed with minimal impact on nearby businesses.
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