Lakewood Park Historic District

Durham City, Durham County, NC

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The Lakewood Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [‡]


The Lakewood Park Historic District comprises approximately fourteen block faces that include 2002-2112 Chapel Hill Road; 1601-1907 West Lakewood Avenue; 1406-1601 James Street; and 1809-1819 Bivins Street. The Lakewood Park Historic District is located east of Lakewood Shopping Center in the 2000 block of Chapel Hill Road, built in 1960 on the site of Lakewood Park, built in 1902. The current Lakewood neighborhood extends from Morehead Avenue on the north to Chapel Hill Boulevard on the south, an area much larger than the Lakewood Park Historic District. The district contains the historic core that developed during the operation of the park from 1902 to the mid-1930s, and that has retained its historic integrity. Chapel Hill Road is the major artery in the district. West Lakewood Avenue runs along an east-west ridge, with James Street extending to the south in a gradual slope down to a ravine at the bottom of the 1600 block. Bivins Street, one block south of West Lakewood Avenue, connects Chapel Hill Road and James Street.

The street plan of the Lakewood Park Historic District consists of large irregular blocks laid out more or less in a grid pattern. Lots are generally 60 by 120 feet wide, with small front yards. Almost every street has a sidewalk, and the medians are landscaped with mature hardwood trees, usually pin oaks, cedars, pines, or crepe myrtles. Many houses have a driveway that leads to a small frame garage at the rear of the lot. The Lakewood Park Historic District is heavily wooded, with a settled appearance. The character of the 2000 block of Chapel Hill Road is largely commercial. Six historic commercial buildings are interspersed with houses and late twentieth century retail buildings. The 2100 block is entirely residential except for the Lakewood Baptist Church at 2100 Chapel Hill Road.

Of the total 104 resources in the Lakewood Park Historic District, seventy-three percent contribute to its historic character. The contributing properties consist of sixty-four buildings, primarily single-family dwellings, and twelve garages and sheds. Noncontributing resources consist of eleven dwellings and commercial buildings and seventeen garages and sheds. There are four vacant lots in the district.

Three generations of residential development are visible in the Lakewood Park Historic District. During the first generation, from ca.1902 to ca.1920, one half of the single-family dwellings in the district were erected. These are one-story frame houses of tri-gable, gable-and-wing, or pyramidal cottage form with modestly stylish Queen Anne features, such as front-gable wings, bay windows, bracketed porches, and decorative sawnwork trim. The earliest documented house in the Lakewood Park Historic District, a side-gable house with a front center gable (tri-gable house) was built about 1902 at 2003 Chapel Hill Road (Fred Roll House). Although this example was completely remodeled in the 1930s, other examples of the tri-gable house type stand at 1410 James Street, 1710, 1800, 1802 and 1907 West Lakewood Avenue, and 1811 and 1813 Bivins Street. An example of the stylish gable-and-wing house type, featuring a side-gabled main block with a gabled front wing, is the ca.1906 George Hancock House, 1809 West Lakewood Avenue. An undercut bay window with decorative brackets with pendants projects from the wing, and a porch nestles between the wing and the main block. The Perdue Land plat of 1906 labels this as the Ray House.

The most substantial of the first generation houses are pyramidal cottages, which are two rooms deep. The 1906 Charles Crabtree House, 1807 West Lakewood Avenue, features an ornate front porch that makes it the most architecturally distinguished of the type. The Gunter-Latta House, 1419 James Street, built in 1907, is less stylish than the Crabtree House but is substantial in size. Pyramidal cottages continued to be built through the 1910s. With brick from a Durham tobacco warehouse that was being demolished, James Charles Myrick had a pyramidal cottage with segmental-arched doors and windows built at 1408 James Street in 1916. Although the two-story, one-room-deep house type known as the I-House was extremely popular in rural areas of Durham County during this era, only one example stands in Lakewood — the ca.1915 house at 1417 James Street.

The second generation houses of Lakewood Park, built during the 1920s, were primarily bungalow and Craftsman house types. One of the earliest bungalows, the James Kellam House, 1705 West Lakewood Avenue, ca.1920, is a side-gabled frame house with a front-gabled porch with massive battered stone pillars and railing that shelters the entrance door, flanked by a wide band of transomed windows. In the early 1920s the Lakewood Methodist Church built a stylish parsonage at 1810 West Lakewood Avenue. The church was located to the rear (north) of this lot on Palmer Street. The parsonage, an unusual example of the Craftsman style, has a wide shape with a side-clipped-gable roof, a shallow front bay window supported on brackets, and a small recessed entrance porch. A few houses in the Lakewood Park Historic District, such as the Cole House, 1606 West Lakewood Avenue, are large, very simple versions of the Craftsman style on ample-sized lots. The wide, side-gabled frame house has a full-facade shed porch, Craftsman brick and wooden porch posts, a gabled dormer window, and eave brackets.

A pair of substantial two-story Craftsman style houses were built in the Lakewood Park Historic District during the 1920s. Roofing contractor Edward J. Latta had one of these built at 1421 James Street about 1925. The two-story pyramidal-roofed main block with front-cross gable, a hip-roofed side wing, tall nine-over-one sash windows, and the wraparound porch are distinguishing features. The Thompson and Cannady contracting firm of Durham, who built several similar houses in Durham's Watts-Hillandale Historic District, may have constructed Latta's house. The Judge Alf Wilson House, 1700 West Lakewood Avenue, built in the early 1920s, has a two-story pyramidal-roofed main block with a gabled side wing, a rear ell, and a wraparound porch.

As the Depression eased in the mid-1930s, the third generation of residential building, characterized by Period Cottage and Minimal Traditional style houses, began. Popular taste had shifted away from the Craftsman style to the Period Cottage style, a smaller, simpler evocation of the Tudor Revival style. Two duplexes at 2108 and 2110 Chapel Hill Road were built by 1937 in the Period Cottage style. Both are one-story gable-and-wing type houses with corner porches. 2108 Chapel Hill Road has one entrance under the porch, the other in the front wing. 2110 Chapel Hill Road has an entrance in the front wing, sheltered by a Tudor style stoop. The other entrance is apparently under the porch, now enclosed as a sunroom. In the late 1940s and early 1950s a handful of Minimal Traditional houses appeared on remaining lots in the district. Two of these are at 1517 and 1519 James Street, nearly identical one-story, extremely plain houses with asbestos wall shingles. A few wide, low brick ranch houses completed the building fabric of the district in the early 1960s.

Three historic grocery stores, a florist shop, and one historic church are located within the largely residential Lakewood Park Historic District. The architecturally distinguished two-story brick building, originally a grocery store, at 2009 Chapel Hill Road was built about 1920. In the late 1920s a similar two-story brick building was built as a grocery store across the street at 2022 Chapel Hill Road. In the late 1930s Frederick Roll built a new florist shop at 2001 Chapel Hill Road. The diminutive Tudor Revival-style brick shop features a steep side-gabled roof, an arched entrance, and a striking oriel display window. About 1940 the Broadway and Ward Grocery occupied a one-story brick building at 2013 Chapel Hill Road. The Lakewood Baptist Church congregation built a distinguished Classical Revival-style brick sanctuary at 2100 Chapel Hill Road in 1924 with a monumental quatrastyle portico and plentiful stained glass windows.

Most of the historic houses in the Lakewood Park Historic District retain a moderate level of integrity, with their original windows, porches, front doors, and occasionally even their weatherboard siding. Many have been sided with vinyl, but it is generally applied in an unobtrusive manner. A number of the houses have been altered incrementally over the years in such small ways as the enclosure of a portion of the front porch, the replacement of the porch with a smaller entrance porch, or the replacement of the original porch posts. These houses retain sufficient integrity to be contributing to the Lakewood Park Historic District. A small number of pre-1952 houses have been remodeled so substantially that they have lost their architectural integrity. For example, the Ripley House, 1803 West Lakewood Avenue, was converted to five apartments about 1960. The house was brick veneered; windows and porch were replaced; and new doors added. The house has lost its historic character. At 1612 West Lakewood Avenue, the front porch of the pyramidal cottage is completely enclosed, and rear additions, vinyl siding, and replacement windows complete its transformation away from its historic character. The historic commercial buildings stand in nearly unaltered condition.


The early-twentieth century suburb of Lakewood Park, located in southwest Durham adjacent to the site of Lakewood Amusement Park in the 2000 block of Chapel Hill Road, is a fourteen-block historic district containing 64 houses, commercial buildings, and a church that retain historic integrity from the ca.1902 to 1952 time period. Built by Durham's street railway company at the end of the trolley line in 1902, the park was an amusement park in the mold of Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. From its construction until its closing in the mid-1930s, Lakewood Park was known as "The Coney Island of the South" for its swimming facilities, theater/casino, dance pavilion, roller skating rink, bowling alley, and concessions. The park was the major recreational attraction for citizens of Durham and surrounding counties in the first third of the twentieth century. The community that grew up around the park included houses of modest Queen Anne, Craftsman, and bungalow styles as well as a small commercial district along Chapel Hill Road containing grocery stores, a florist shop, and the Lakewood Baptist Church.

The Lakewood Park Historic District is listed on the National Register for its planning and community development significance to the city of Durham as an early twentieth century streetcar suburb. The district also meets eligibility for its local architectural significance. The period of significance begins ca.1902 with the oldest district buildings, and continues to 1952 when historic development of the neighborhood was completed. The historic buildings in the Lakewood Park Historic District generally retain their architectural integrity, including original porches, windows, and front entrances. Lakewood Park's streets retain their historic neighborhood character, with sidewalks on Chapel Hill Road and mature trees.

Historical Background

In 1902 Durham's electric power company, the Durham Traction Company, led by Richard H. Wright, built an eight-mile electric trolley system. To house the company shops and trolley sheds, the company purchased twenty-seven acres from W.H. Proctor and Nancy Rigsbee on Chapel Hill Road, the main road from Durham to Chapel Hill to the southwest. The tract was a few blocks south of Maplewood Cemetery, which had been established in 1872 and marked the edge of the city at the turn of the twentieth century. The trolley tracks ran in an X-shape from the company shops and trolley sheds in southwest Durham through the central business district to the Durham Bulls baseball stadium in northeast Durham.[1] Another line extended from the Durham County Club on Club Boulevard in northwest Durham through downtown to southeast Durham. On the main portion of the wooded acreage the company constructed an amusement park known as Lakewood Park, featuring a merry-go-round, a roller coaster, a lake for swimming, a roller-skating rink, a dance pavilion, a bowling alley, and a casino for theatrical performances. The frame buildings were clustered near the covered trolley stop, with the lake located to the northwest where the land dropped off. On July 20, 1902, at the official opening, the Durham Daily Sun reported that hundreds of people enjoyed the attractive park, illuminated by various colored electric lights.[2]

A series of photographs depict the park's attractions in 1910.[3] One photograph shows an open-sided summer trolley car beside the canopied platform at the entrance to the park, located directly opposite the intersection of Lakewood Avenue. In the background stands the casino, a picturesque frame building with a turreted corner entrance tower with arched doorways. Another photo shows the merry-go-round beneath a simple wooden shelter with a pyramidal, wood-shingled roof. Another photo shows the concrete pool, Durham's first public swimming pool, built by 1910, with a long bathhouse with changing rooms beside it, and scores of youth in knee-length bathing suits. An aerial view of the roller coaster shows a huge wooden trestle that soars and dips among tall hardwood trees. A young girl poses in front of the dance pavilion, an open shelter with wood-shingled roof and shingled railing around the perimeter.

Durham citizens flocked to the park in great crowds to enjoy swimming during the daytime and dancing and theatrical performances in the evenings. At the casino, actually an auditorium with a large stage, the Runkel Stock Company put on nightly shows for many years, using locals as extras. T.C. Foster operated the park in its later years, from the late 1910s to the 1930s. He brought game concessions and special shows including circuses, carnivals, and fireworks displays to the park to attract crowds. Other attractions were hot air balloons and a horse that jumped into a pool in front of the grandstand. The park was promoted by manager Foster on billboards in the 1920s as "the Coney Island of the South." Lakewood Park drew crowds from Durham and surrounding counties for over twenty-five years, until the late 1920s. When automobiles came into common use in the 1920s, attendance at the park began to decline as other attractions competed. In 1930 the Durham Traction Company sold the street car system to the Durham Public Service Company, which replaced the trolleys with buses. The park finally closed about 1934.[4]

As Lakewood Park became the chief recreational destination in the Durham area, a neighborhood developed around the park. In the 1890s a few families had built houses on Chapel Hill Road. Captain Joseph R. Renn, a train conductor, built a large Queen Anne style house at 1812 Chapel Hill Road during the decade.[5] (The house still stands, but is outside the district boundaries.) The surrounding countryside held small farms. Chapel Hill Road remained the heart of the Lakewood neighborhood after residential settlement began, and the finest houses were built along the thoroughfare.

Unlike a number of the amusement park suburbs of this era, the Lakewood neighborhood was not a planned subdivision. Lakewood Avenue was laid out about 1902, and by 1906 there were a handful of houses along Chapel Hill Road and Lakewood Avenue.[6] James Street is named for Captain Leonidas James, a native of Ohio who established the James Lumber Company in northeast Durham County. James built a house at the corner of Chapel Hill Road and House Avenue two blocks north of the Lakewood Park Historic District, and apparently played some role in laying out James Street.[7] By 1906 the dwellings of the Carrington, Ray and Moss families stood on the south side of Lakewood Avenue near the intersection with James Street. The Carrington House (1907 West Lakewood Avenue) and the Ray House (1809 West Lakewood Avenue) are still standing. One of the earliest residents was florist, Frederick Roll, who purchased the simple one-story, frame, tri-gable house at 2003 Chapel Hill Road, directly across from the trolley stop at the park, from the J.T. Christian family in 1902. The house still stands but has been considerably enlarged and altered. The architecture of these houses establishes the Lakewood Park Historic District's early architectural character of one-story frame houses of modest Queen Anne style with sawnwork-detailed porches and other Victorian era trim, such as decorative wood shingles in the front cross-gables, or bay windows. In 1906 Charlie Crabtree purchased a 73x147 foot lot at 1807 West Lakewood Avenue from Hattie Peace. He and his wife Pattie had a pyramidal cottage built there. The deed describes the lot as being near the Dean homestead about two miles from Durham on the Chapel Hill Road.[8]

The bulk of the lots in the Lakewood Park Historic District were created from 1906 to 1908 through the subdivision of three farmsteads: the J.A. Perdue Land, the Susan J. Dean Homeplace, and the E.A. Woods Land. The land of J.A. Perdue, who kept a saloon on Mangum Street in Durham, and lived nearby, was purchased by Griswold Real Estate and Insurance Company and divided into twenty-nine lots, each sixty feet wide, on James and Bivins streets in 1906.[9] Among early purchasers were E.T. Gunter, a grocer, and his wife, who purchased lot 12 (1419 James Street) in 1907. The Gunters may have built the pyramidal cottage-type house on the lot, although they continued to live in the city limits near their grocery store. They may have rented out the house prior to 1912, when they sold the property, described as "situated near the southwestern suburbs of the city of Durham," for $360 to E.J. Latta. Edward Latta lived in the house until he built a new two-story Craftsman-style house next door, at 1421 James Street, about 1925. [10]

In 1907 surveyor E.C. Belvin subdivided part of the property of Susan J. Dean, who owned the land along the east side of Chapel Hill Street, into twenty-nine lots. This tract is at the northeast junction of Chapel Hill and Lakewood streets, and includes two lots on the south side of Lakewood Avenue. Palmer and Ripley streets are located in this subdivision.[11] Dean and her husband W.V. Dean apparently had a farm on the land, and their land was later known as the Susan J. Dean Homeplace. One purchaser was Mrs. Hallie J. Myrick, who in 1916 bought a $100 lot on another portion of Dean land south of Lakewood Park. She and her husband J. Charlie Myrick immediately built a house on the lot at 1408 James Street.[12]

The third sizeable subdivision that created the Lakewood Park Historic District was the E.A. Woods Land subdivision in 1908, which created the lots along Lakewood Avenue east of Ripley Street, in the 1700 block. Elbert A. Woods lived at 705 Chapel Hill Street in Durham.[13] As in the other two subdivisions, buyers of these lots often held them for later resale. The lot at 1705 Lakewood Avenue was purchased by two couples when the subdivision was new, but not until J.W. and Lottie Kellam acquired it in 1919 was a house constructed.[14]

A few employees of the Durham Traction Company bought or built houses in the neighborhood. Albert T. Woods, superintendent of the wiring department of the company, apparently built the tri-gable house at 1710 W. Lakewood Avenue about 1910. Lee Goodwin of the company purchased the house at 1901 Lakewood Avenue in 1913 from J.S. Moss.[15] Both of these houses are the one-story tri-gable house type that are among the first houses built in Lakewood.

Lakewood Park remained a rural neighborhood for many years. Early residents of Lakewood worked in both white collar and blue collar jobs. Among the heads of household in 1925 were carpenters, barbers, tobacco workers, machinists, clerks, salesmen, an insurance agent, a roofing contractor, a stonecutter, and a house painter.[16] Living in Lakewood Park allowed them to commute to work in Durham on the trolley, but maintain a somewhat rural lifestyle. In the 1910s when Frances Myrick was growing up at 1408 James Street in the pyramidal cottage her father had built out of brick salvaged from a Durham tobacco warehouse, Lakewood was still a rural agricultural community. Her father butchered hogs and hung them from a tree in the back yard. W.E. Moss raised squab in his backyard on Lakewood Avenue.

As the neighborhood developed, commercial establishments were built along Chapel Hill Road around the park entrance to cater both to residents and park visitors. German-born florist Frederick Roll bought property across from the park entrance, at 2003 Chapel Hill Road, in 1902 and built a complex of greenhouses and a frame florist shop at the corner. About 1920 he built a substantial two-story brick building at 2009 Chapel Hill Road. For many years a grocery store occupied the first floor and the grocer lived upstairs. At the west edge of Lakewood Park, at 2022 Chapel Hill Road, the Brantley brothers built a substantial two-story brick building where the Brantley and Watson Grocery operated until about 1940 when the building became the Davis Baking Company. Lakewood School was constructed in the 2100 block of Chapel Hill Road, one block south of the park, in the early 1900s. A brick school replaced the original frame school in the 1920s and operated until 1960. The building is now the YMCA. Two churches were established in the community. In 1909 a Sunday School that met in Lakewood Park's skating rink became the Lakewood Methodist Church. They built a brick church in 1913 just off Chapel Hill Road on Palmer Street. The Methodists worshipped there until 1954 when the congregation sold the building to the Masonic Lodge and built a new church in the 2300 block of Chapel Hill Road.[17] The Lakewood Baptist Church congregation, organized in 1912, built a frame sanctuary at 1500 James Street about 1915. They worshipped here until 1924, when they built a large brick Classical Revival-style sanctuary at 2100 Chapel Hill Road.[18] In 1925 the Lakewood Park area was annexed to Durham.[19] About 1940 the Broadway and Ward Grocery Store was built at 2013 Chapel Hill Road. They delivered groceries to Lakewood residents.

In the late 1950s the last of the abandoned Lakewood Park buildings were torn down for the construction of Lakewood Shopping Center, one of Durham's first suburban commercial centers. A grocery, drug store, and other retail establishments occupy the 1960 one-story complex that is recessed behind a huge paved parking lot, a sad swap for the verdant oasis that formerly occupied the site. In the later twentieth century many of the district's houses became rentals, and the neighborhood deteriorated in appearance and in safety. A small number of post-1952 houses and commercial buildings are interspersed throughout the Lakewood Park Historic District. These include several late 1950s-1960s Ranch type houses, several 1960s brick rental houses, and two commercial buildings on Chapel Hill Road.

The neighborhood is currently [2003] undergoing a renaissance through the efforts of individual homeowners and of the Lakewood Park Community Association, which purchases deteriorated houses, performs limited rehabilitation, and resells them to owners interested in restoration.

Durham's Streetcar Suburbs

By the time he built Lakewood Amusement Park, Richard H. Wright, president of the Durham Traction Company was already an experienced developer of residential subdivisions. In 1890 Wright and Durham industrialist Julian S. Carr formed the Durham Consolidated Land and Improvement Company, which bought the land north of Trinity College (Duke University) and platted the subdivision of Trinity Heights. Trinity Heights saw little construction until Wright's 1902 construction of the Durham Traction Company established an east-west trolley line along Main Street that linked the suburb to downtown Durham. Sales and home building in Trinity Heights became brisk after the trolley system began running. Brodie Duke, older brother of James B. Duke of American Tobacco Company fame, did not attempt to develop his own adjacent land until 1901, when the Durham Traction Company announced its plan to built the street railway system. Duke subdivided the much-larger subdivision of Trinity Park, on the east side of Trinity Heights, that same year. Trinity Park developed rapidly in the south end of the neighborhood convenient to the West Main Street trolley line.[20] The new trolley line also resulted in the subdivision of the William G. Vickers's Morehead Hill property whose north edge adjoined the trolley line. By about 1915 Morehead Hill had become the most fashionable neighborhood in Durham. In 1913 the West End Land Company platted the land along Club Boulevard in North Durham into Club Acres. This subdivision built up in the late 1910s and early 1920s.[21]

The suburb of Lakewood Park differs fundamentally from Trinity Park, Morehead Hill and the Club Boulevard suburbs because it was not planned in its entirety by a development company, but was developed piecemeal by individuals who owned small tracts. One reason that Richard Wright might not have pursued the development of a subdivision around Lakewood Park is his preoccupation with the Trinity Heights subdivision. Wright was no doubt aware of such amusement park suburbs as Latta Park in the Dilworth suburb, at the end of the city of Charlotte's trolley line, opened in 1891. The trolley line opened to Dilworth at the same time that the first lots were sold in the adjacent subdivision.[22] At the end of the Glenwood Avenue streetcar line in Raleigh, just beyond the Glenwood subdivision, Carolina Power and Light Company built Bloomsbury Amusement Park in 1906.[23] Major Durham developers, such as Richard Wright, may have considered Lakewood Park too far from town to be a good investment. The land where the subdivision of Forest Hills was developed was even closer to downtown Durham than was the Lakewood area, yet Forest Hills was one of the second generation of subdivisions based on the automobile that did not develop until the 1920s. Yet another factor may have been that the area was already settled by farms when Lakewood Park was built, and a development company may have had difficulty assembling enough land to make a subdivision worthwhile.

At any rate, the Lakewood community developed through a series of small subdivisions by property owners, some of whom were farmers, some small-scale Durham developers, between 1902 and 1908. The street pattern, not a true grid, reflects the incremental nature of its evolution, as one farm after another was subdivided to link up to adjacent small subdivisions. The Lakewood Park Historic District thus occupies a distinctive position among Durham's streetcar suburbs as a remarkably harmonious assemblage of small subdivided tracts that resulted in a cohesive suburb in spite of its piecemeal development. Today, nearly a century later, Lakewood Park retains its historic streetcar suburb character.

Architectural Context

Lakewood Park Historic District's early residential architecture, built before 1920, resembles the smaller houses in Morehead Hill rather than the housing of Trinity Park. Although Morehead Hill and Trinity Park were both planned developments, their housing is quite different. Many of Trinity Park's houses, built largely by professionals, businessmen and merchants, a number associated with Trinity College, are frame two-story early Colonial Revival Foursquares. A few houses were designed by architects. Unlike the other Durham developers of streetcar suburbs, Vickers, developer of Morehead Hill, built "fashionable, moderately sized rental houses, targeted for tradesmen, artisans, and skilled laborers, on the land closest to the trolley."[24] The house at 907 Jackson Street in Morehead Hill, typical of the more than one hundred rental houses built by Vickers, is a gable-and-wing type house with a three-sided bay with drop pendant brackets.

Lakewood Park's houses are smaller, working-class dwellings built by contractors and speculators in vernacular forms, such as the pyramidal cottage, or modest examples of the Queen Anne style. The first generation of Lakewood Park's houses resemble Vickers's rental houses in Morehead Hill, described by Claudia Brown as "sturdy structures...moderately-sized with corbelled chimney stacks and prefabricated sawnwork ornament, and often embellished with three-sided window bays and wraparound porches..."[25] The ca.1906 Ray-Hancock House at 1809 W. Lakewood Avenue bears a strong resemblance to 907 Jackson Street in Morehead Hill, and may have been built by the same contractor.

The pyramidal cottage, a one-story two-room deep house with a tall hip roof, was popular at the turn of the century throughout North Carolina. Very often this type was built as rental housing in Durham, as for example at 703 North Roxboro Street in the Cleveland-Holloway Street area just north of downtown. This house is quite similar to the Gunter-Latta House at 1419 James Street in the Lakewood Park Historic District. It is likely that the Gunters built this house as a rental, because Edward T. Gunter lived near his grocery store at 207 W. Proctor Street in Durham.[26] The Lakewood Park Historic District has about a dozen pyramidal cottages, one of the best groupings to be found in Durham. Some of these were built by owner-occupants, such as the stylish example at 1807 West Lakewood Avenue built in 1906 for Charlie Crabtree, a mechanic at the American Tobacco Company, and the fine pyramidal cottage at 1408 James Street built for James C. Myrick and his family in 1916.

In the 1920s Lakewood Park houses reflect the dominant bungalow/Craftsman forms found throughout Durham's suburbs. Many of the small bungalows along James Street resemble the blocks of 1920s housing along Englewood Avenue in the Watts-Hillandale Historic District, which largely filled up during this decade. Englewood Avenue had smaller lots than the grander Club Boulevard, the main avenue of the subdivision. Small, comfortable bungalows were the house of choice for the lots along Englewood Avenue, as they were on James Street in the Lakewood Park Historic District. One of the largest 1920s houses in the Lakewood Park Historic District, Edward Latta's two-story Craftsman style house at 1421 James Street, is almost identical to the Brock House, 2115 W. Club Boulevard, built in 1922 by Thompson and Cannady builders. They may have constructed Latta's house as well.

The substantial two-story brick grocery store buildings built in the 1920s in the 2100 block of Chapel Hill Road of the Lakewood Park Historic District are important survivals of a suburban commercial district in Durham. Another significant commercial property is Frederick Roll's late 1930s florist shop and greenhouse at 2001 Chapel Hill Road. The quaint Tudor Revival-style brick shop is one of Chapel Hill Road's commercial landmarks. The Lakewood Park Historic District's commercial section is one of the earliest that survives in Durham's suburbs. Another cluster of commercial buildings that were originally suburban is the business district in West Durham along Ninth Street between the east campus of Duke University and the Erwin Cotton Mill. These one and two-story commercial buildings were constructed in the early-to-mid twentieth century. In north Durham, at the junction of North Mangum, Cleveland and Corporation streets, a shopping district known as "Little Five Points" developed in the early twentieth century. Here, too, one and two-story brick commercial buildings still form a suburban commercial cluster.[27]

The Period Cottage and Minimal Traditional style houses built in the Lakewood Park Historic District from the later 1930s into the early 1950s are similar to those constructed on the smaller streets of the Watts-Hillandale Historic District, such as Englewood and Virginia avenues. A number of these in the Lakewood Park Historic District were built as duplexes, unlike those in the Watts-Hillandale district, which were generally single-family.


  1. Leyburn, The Way We Lived: Durham 1900-1920, 160; Anderson, Durham County, 264; 1937 Sanborn Map.
  2. "New Park Open," Durham Daily Sun, July 21, 1902; "Lights Turned On," Durham Daily Sun, July 22, 1902.
  3. W. G. Plyler photos of Lakewood Park, 1910, Durham Public Library collection.
  4. Roberts Brown, The Durham Architectural and Historical Inventor, 245; Latta, Typescript history of Lakewood Park, 1995; typescript interview, 1996; "Durham's Lakewood Revived," Durham Daily Sun(?) May 26, 1934. The park reopened for a brief time in 1934.
  5. Roberts Brown, The Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory, 245, 250.
  6. A 1903 deed for a lot across from Lakewood Park on Chapel Hill Street mentions two unnamed new streets, one of which was probably Lakewood Avenue, indicating that Lakewood Avenue was laid out about 1902. Durham County Deed Book 32, 103-104: W.V. and Susan J. Dean, grantors.
  7. Anderson, Durham County, 265.
  8. Durham County Deed Book 36, 419.
  9. Durham County Plat Book 5, 33. Map of J.A. Perdue Land, Lakewood Park, drawn by E.C. Belvin, county surveyor, 1906; 1906 Durham City Directory.
  10. Durham County Deed Book 37, 259. A deed covenant restricted ownership or occupation of the lot by a colored person; Deed Book 42, 331; 1910 Durham City Directory.
  11. Durham County Plat Book 42, 75. Map of Susan J. Dean Home Place, 1907.
  12. Durham County Deed Book 49, 445. The Myricks purchased the lot from Willie E. Moss. It had changed hands twice since Susan Dean sold it.
  13. Durham County Plat Book 5, 35. E.C. Belvin, surveyor; !911-1912 Durham City Directory listing for Elbert A. Woods.
  14. Durham County Deed Book 47, 444; Deed Book 54, 655.
  15. Durham County Deed Book 47, 348 (The sale price of $2,150 indicates that the house had already been built); 1921 Durham City Directory; see Deed Book 54, 655: Albert T. Woods to J. W. Kellam and wife, 1919.
  16. 1925 Durham City Directory.
  17. Roberts Brown, The Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory, 247.
  18. Boyd, The Story of Durham, 199; Anderson, Durham County, 1914; Frances Howard interview, April 15, 2002.
  19. Wise, Jim. "Lakewood, Bulls share centennial," Durham Herald Sun, April 11, 2002.
  20. Roberts Brown, The Durham Architectural and Historical Inventory, 185, 197-198.
  21. Charlotte Brown, "Durham's Early Twentieth-Century Suburban Neighborhoods," 39-43, in Bishir and Early's Early Twentieth Century Suburbs in North Carolina, 1985.
  22. Goldfield, "North Carolina's Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs and the Urbanizing South," Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs in North Carolina, 16.
  23. Charlotte Brown, "Three Raleigh Suburbs," Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs in North Carolina, 33-35.
  24. Roberts Brown, "Durham's Early Twentieth-Century Suburban Neighborhoods," 42.
  25. Roberts Brown> The Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory, 233.
  26. Roberts Brown, The Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory, 73; 1910 Durham City Directory; Deed Book 37, 259; Deed Book 42, 331.
  27. Roberts Brown, The Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory, 152, 65.


Anderson, Jean Bradley. Durham County. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1990.

Boyd, William Kenneth. The Story of Durham. Durham: Duke University Press, 1925.

Brown, Charlotte. "Three Raleigh Suburbs," Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs in North Carolina, Bishir and Early, eds. Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 30-37.

Durham City Directories, 1910-1952, on microfilm at the Durham Public Library.

Durham County Deed Books.

Durham County Plat Books.

Durham Daily Sun, July 21, 1902: "New Park Open."

Durham Daily Sun, July 22, 1901: "Lights Turned On."

Durham Daily Sun(?), May 26, 1934: "Durham's Lakewood Revived."

Goldfield, David R. ''North Carolina's Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs and the Urbanizing South," Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs in North Carolina. Bishir and Early, eds. Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1985. 9-19.

Howard, Mrs. Frances Myrick. Interview by M. Ruth Little, Durham, April 15, 2002.

Latta, T. Marcus. Typescript history of Lakewood Park, 1995. Copy in nomination file, North Carolina Historic Preservation Office.

Leyburn, James. G. The Way We Lived: Durham 1900-1920. Elliston, Va.: Northcross House, 1989. Plyler, W. G. Photos of Lakewood Park, 1910. Collection of the Durham Public Library.

Roberts, Claudia. The Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory, Durham: The Historic Preservation Society of Durham, 1982.

Roberts, Claudia. "Durham's Early Twentieth-Century Suburban Neighborhoods," Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs in North Carolina, Bishir and Early, eds. Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1985. 39-43.

Sanborn Maps of Durham: 1937. On microfilm at the Durham Public Library.

Wise, Jim. Durham Herald Sun, April 11, 2002: "Lakewood, Bulls share centennial."

‡ M. Ruth Little, LongLeaf Historic Resources, Lakewood Park Historic District, Durham County, NC, nomination document, 2002, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Bivins Street • Chapel Hill Boulevard • Chapel Hill Road • James Street • Lakewood Avenue West

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