Liggett & Myers Complex

In 1948, Liggett and Myers Tobacco Co. opened a monumental cigarette factory at Main and Duke streets. Six-stories high and enclosing 340,000 square feet, the building took up a lot that had been park space and the site of the company’s business office.

Prior to the start of construction, the business office was moved to the north side of Main Street on a level scaffold while work went on as usual inside with electricity and plumbing fully operational.

Besides sheer mass, the building is distinguished by its minimal ornamentation -- just alternating bands of brick broken by tiny casement windows to relieve the overall impression of monolithic bulk. Its most distinctive feature was an illuminated billboard that stood atop the roof until the mid-1980s advertising Chesterfield cigarettes, the company's leading brand. The landmark billboard provided the factory its nickname, "Chesterfield Building."

Vacated when Liggett and Myers closed its Durham operation in 2000, the building awaits renovation to become part of the West Village mixed-use complex.