Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Urban #AtoZChallenge

Today, in keeping with my theme of Traveling Through Time and Space, I  am posting some pictures of a visit last year to Durham, North Carolina.

Durham, years ago, lost one of its major industries.  Much of its fortune was built on the bright leaf tobacco industry.  It is said that the bright leaf process was accidentally discovered by a slave.  By the end of the Civil War, Union soldiers occupying North Carolina had discovered this tobacco, and brought their love of it back home to the North.

But, in more recent years, the tobacco warehouses that once held the tobacco that brought prosperity to this part of North Carolina lay vacant.  Now, these tobacco warehouses are being re-purposed into housing and indoor malls. Urban renewal seems to be working.

Duke University, in Durham, has some of the most beautiful flower gardens I have ever seen.  The story of the Duke family, whose fortune was made in tobacco, has not been a happy one, but I don't think of that when I visit these gardens.
Royal Burgundy Cherry and Dogwood, Duke University, April 2014
Here are some pictures of downtown Durham's Central Park.

I love outdoor art in all its forms.  And Central Park did not disappoint with this bench.

Or this signpost.

Or this sign painted on a building being repurposed.

Or its flowers and sculpture.

North Carolina attracts people from my area of upstate New York with an almost magnetic pull.  It's easy to see why.  So many people from my area end up retiring in North Carolina.

"U" day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.


  1. My kids are much fonder of the place 17 km away- Chapel Hill.

  2. Seriously. That bench looks so well crafted and I loved that signpost... reminded me of the one that used to be there in the show MASH! :)

    A Uruguayan called Jose

  3. I love hearing that those old buildings are being repurposed.

  4. Durham is a great place! We stop there for a break when we drive through. Loved seeing your pictures.

  5. It's sad when industries die. Not so sad that tobacco is going away, but sad for those that made their livelihoods on it.

  6. As a native Tarheel, I haven't spent much time in Durham, but a high school classmate of mine writes for the Durham newspaper. My mother's father raised bright leaf tobacco, as did an uncle (and if you go back to great grandparents, three of the four were tobacco farmers.


  7. Is that a metal park bench? It's beautiful. I went on business there years ago and actually saw "tobacco colored Rolls Royces" being driven by the zillionaires who made their family fortunes in tobacco/cigarettes.

  8. I love hearing that those old buildings are being repurposed.
    Nice post!!

  9. I was in Raleigh about twenty years ago; the Durham Bulls were still the Braves high-A farm club and were still playing at the Durham Athletic Park. I caught a whole home series while I was there and was amazed at all the tobacco companies that had factories around there. Very nice city nonetheless.


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