City Hall

Durham's City Hall makes a distinct contrast with two earlier government buildings nearby, the No. 1 Fire Station and former Police Headquarters (now City Hall Annex).

The three formed a government complex which had been recommended for the eastern end of downtown in the 1959 Tarrant Plan for downtown redevelopment. The first two were designed by the Robert W. Carr firm, which had a similar plan for City Hall. However, after the municipal election of 1971, a new city council switched firms and gave the City Hall contract to the firm of John D. Latimer, which produced a design markedly different from the mid-60s Internationalist styling Carr's firm had favored.

Latimer's building incorporated energy-saving measures in its design and choice of material, and broke the interior space into multiple levels rather than the then-conventional wide-open floor plan. The building presents a monumental stairway rising from the corner of Mangum Street and the Downtown Loop to a patio outside the City Council meeting chamber; but the stairway is closed to public access and the public entry is through a revolving door on the City Hall Plaza side, the view of which is obscured by a ground-level collonade.
Mangum StreetCity Hall Plaza