Durham's Architecture & Urban Landscape Walking Tour

Durham's Architecture & Urban Landscape Walking Tour

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"Major" the Bull Sculpture

211 W. Parrish St

At the Bull

Durham, NC 27701

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Explore Downtown Durham's architecture and learn how it has transformed itself from an industrial center to the City of Medicine.

About this event

Important safety rules and protocols.

  • All tour goers must register on Eventbrite to be on the tour.
  • 20 tour goers are allowed per group tour.
  • Meet at "Major" the Bull sculpture at the corner of Corcoran & W. Parrish Streets

Explore Downtown Durham and learn how it has transformed itself from an industrial center to the City of Medicine. Docents describe the history of many of the landmark buildings that make up the Downtown Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977. Featured on the tour are the 1915 First National Bank, the 1921 Mechanics and Farmers Bank Building, and Preservation Durham’s one-time home, the Snow Building, built in 1933.

Built by the successful entrepreneurs of early 20th Durham, buildings Downtown were designed by nationally known architects like Milburn and Heister, Bertrand E. Taylor, Edward F. Sibbert, and Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon as well as by local companies Rose and Rose, George Watts Carr, Hill C. Linthicum, and Atwood and Weeks. There are fine examples of many architectural styles popular in the 20th century, including Art Deco, Italianate, and Neo-Classical, and post World War II Modern. Many of downtown’s older building have recently changed their functions, turning from tobacco factories and textile mills into hip urban lofts, stores, and offices. 


  • The tour starts at the corner of Parrish & Corcoran Streets at the "Major" the Bull sculpture.
  • Tours may be cancelled on short notice due to extreme heat or inclement weather.
  • Tours will be shortened to one hour on days when the temperature is above 90° or below 50°. Please take the weather into account when planning to join a tour. In hot weather, wear a hat and sunscreen and bring a bottle of water. In cold weather, bundle up and bring a cup of hot coffee! For walking tours always wear comfortable shoes.

Tours are also available by appointment for private and school groups. These tours may be customized for a donation. Please contact the office to arrange at 919-682-3036 or info@preservationdurham.org.

Our tours are lead by our fantastic volunteer tour guides – everyday folks who like meeting new people and learning about Durham history. Interested in becoming a tour guide? Further details can be found at our volunteer page.