To Main Map

American Tobacco Campus, Durham

North Carolina
Print   Leave a comment
American Tobacco Campus, Durham, North Carolina NC

Description

American Tobacco Campus in Durham is an interesting place to visit! It's really fun to walk around checking out all the colorful features of this former tobacco factory complex. The complex was built starting in 1856, over a 75 year period, which is the reason there are so many historic layers to uncover.
A man-made, quarter-mile-long river starts beside the loading dock where trains once delivered coal to the American Tobacco Company. The river is flanked by walls of water that fall in steps.
The American Tobacco Company acquired Lucky Strikes cigarettes. The Lucky Strikes smokestack and tower stand tall above you. There are also plenty of flower pots, a bike rack in the shape of a bull, tables with umbrellas, adirondack chairs, rocking chairs, hammocks, and a giant chess set in the shapes of towers and bulls.
Burt's Bees has its headquarters here and you can open a door and watch hundreds of bees in a hive. It's really fun for kids! Burt's Bees is in the prettiest building, a Romanesque Revival brick warehouse.
This area was a tobacco factory until quite recently, 1987. The redevelopment designer, Jean C. Aldy, kept the historic layers she uncovered while clearing the site, including a wall of advertising where workers used to sit: "Home of the 15 cent lunch- all you can eat." She used concrete slabs, rubble at the site, to form waterfalls in the river! It's super fun to stand above the river, watch the water swirl, and listen to its soothing sounds. What a wonderful place! Kids love to see the train too, at the loading dock. And further down, kids can step on concrete stepping stones over the river- a blast! The river flows past a large stage shaded by a canopy and a lawn area where you can see concerts in May and June each year. The lawn area is a great spot to hang out, as the buildings create shade. Check their website for concert dates (Thursdays 6:30-8pm, three weeks in May and two weeks in June).  
After rushing under a bridge,  the river forms a pool with a wall of water on one side. A dinosaur sculpture peers over bushes, and an alligator sculpture sits on a rock by the river. Criss-cross lights add atmosphere. 
A few restaurants are located here: Cuban Revolution (lunch and dinner daily), Mellow Mushroom Pizza (lunch and dinner daily), and the popular Saladelia Cafe (breakfast and lunch, weekdays). The Durham Bulls baseball park is next door. Inside the Reed Building, where Cuban Revolution is located, are some exhibits with items from tobacco advertising, restrooms, and water fountains where you can quench your thirst.
American Tobacco Campus is romantic at night, with its lovely lighting.

[continued...]

Photo Gallery

Click on photo to see large version
Looking past hedges toward Hill Warehouse.
Looking past hedges toward Hill Warehouse.
Hill Warehouse in the distance.
Hill Warehouse in the distance.
A man checks out the water features.
A man checks out the water features.
Lucky Strike tower.
Lucky Strike tower.
Hill Warehouse is very appealing.
Hill Warehouse is very appealing.
Bubbling fountain.
Bubbling fountain.
Burt's Bees Headquarters.
Burt's Bees Headquarters.
Hive in the wall outside Burt's Bees Headquarters.
Hive in the wall outside Burt's Bees Headquarters.
Bee hive tunnel.
Bee hive tunnel.
Bubbling fountain and Lucky Strike smokestack in the distance.
Bubbling fountain and Lucky Strike smokestack in the distance.
The river's headwaters.
The river's headwaters.
The train that brought coal to the factory.
The train that brought coal to the factory.
Hammock.
Hammock.
Shady spot to relax.
Shady spot to relax.
Lucky Strike smokestack.
Lucky Strike smokestack.
The train.
The train.
Giant chess set.
Giant chess set.
Scary bull chess piece.
Scary bull chess piece.
Tower and smokestack chess pieces.
Tower and smokestack chess pieces.
Plants, stepping stones, and American flag.
Plants, stepping stones, and American flag.
Waterfalls along the river.
Waterfalls along the river.
Triangle slab in the river.
Triangle slab in the river.
Looking toward the stage.
Looking toward the stage.
You can dip your hands in the water near the stage.
You can dip your hands in the water near the stage.
North Carolina Public Radio.
North Carolina Public Radio.
Dinosaur peeking over the bushes.
Dinosaur peeking over the bushes.
Alligator sculpture and fountain.
Alligator sculpture and fountain.
The stage and large shade canopy.
The stage and large shade canopy.
Flower pots and chairs near the stage.
Flower pots and chairs near the stage.
Alligator sculpture in the river.
Alligator sculpture in the river.
Flower pot by the pool at the end of the river.
Flower pot by the pool at the end of the river.
The pool and wall of water at the end of the river.
The pool and wall of water at the end of the river.
Cross cross lights.
Cross cross lights.
Exhibit with tobacco items.
Exhibit with tobacco items.
Workers seats and ad, uncovered during the redevelopment.
Workers seats and ad, uncovered during the redevelopment.
Stepping stones you can walk across.
Stepping stones you can walk across.

Directions

Park in the North Parking Deck at 305 W. Pettigrew St, Durham. Also good is the South Parking Deck, at 705 Willard Street. A little further away is the East Parking Deck, at 250 S. Mangum St. Parking is free for the first two hours.
You can also park for free along the road at 300 Jackson Street.
Saladelia Cafe, 406 Blackwell St, Durham, NC 27701. Open for breakfast and lunch, weekdays only.

This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.

Your Comment

Name
Rating
Description


Last Updated: Sun, 26 May 2019 17:49:36 GMT