On May 20th, the Durham City Council will vote to remove landmark status from Liberty Warehouse. The structure, located at 611-613 Rigsbee Avenue, was built around 1940. Today, it is the last remaining tobacco auction warehouse in the state. The property was purchased by Greenfire Development in 2006. In 2008, the warehouse was placed on the National Register. In 2010, Greenfire applied for and received local landmark status. In May 2011, a portion of the roof collapsed during a storm. The building was flooded, and tenants were forced to move out. The roof was never repaired, and the structure has sat empty ever since.
When considering the upcoming vote, It is important to remember that removing landmark status is the only issue on the table at this time. Any development that may or may not happen in the future should not be factored into this fact-based decision. If the building is de-listed and the proposed development plan falls through (as so many do), it will be almost impossible to protect the building in the future. Maintaining landmark status does not preclude development of the building.
We oppose the change in landmark status. For further information on our position on the upcoming decision, please read my letter to Mayor Bell and City Council. We ask that you please contact the council members listed below to tell them how important it is to make an objective, fact-based decision. We've included a sample email at the bottom
. Make your voice heard!
Bill Bell, Mayor
Cora Cole-McFadden, Mayor Pro Tem
919-560-4396, ext. 10277
Eugene Brown, At Large
Diane Catotti, At Large
919-560-4396, ext. 10278
Howard Clement III, Ward 2
919-560-4396, ext. 10272
Don Moffitt, Ward 3
919-560-4396, ext. 10276
Steve Schewel, At Large
919-560-4396, ext. 10273
My name is [Your name], and I reside at [your address]. I'm writing you in regards to the proposed removal of landmark status for Liberty Warehouse. I am opposed to de-listing the building because the structure still meets the landmark standards that were in place when it was first listed in 2010. I believe that this building is a defining landmark of Durham's entrepreneurial history, and I know that maintaining landmark status does not preclude redevelopment in the future.
I ask that you please vote against removing landmark status from Liberty Warehouse.