Durham Elected Officials Get A Tour Of The Old American Tobacco Building
According to the Sunday, April 8 edition of the News and Observer Newspaper, Durham elected officials took a tour of the American Tobacco building at the heart of a redevelopment proposal for the southern edge of downtown Durham. Those officials that attended the Friday tour got an eyeful of sagging walls, broken windows, and a tree growing through part of the roof. More dilapidated than the normal “fixer upper,” the News and Observer reported that they saw a “pockmarked wasteland” full of environmental hazards including peeling lead paint and layers of asbestos.
Along the tour, officials got a history lesson as well as a sales pitch on how important revitalizing this building is. They were asked to use their imagination and envision the architectural drawings brought to life. Instead of seeing an old coal shed, old train tracks, or a rusty stairwell, they were asked to see a restaurant, trendy shops, and a brick-fired oven sitting in front of a grand patio.
Executives from Capitol Broadcasting Company conducted the tour and asked the officials to look at the opportunities: to see this proposed renovation project as a new hope for downtown Durham, a new beginning. The Durham City Council and the Durham County Commissioners will be voting in less than a month on whether to use taxpayer money to help Capitol Broadcasting in this revitalization effort by building parking decks near the facility.