Proctor Street had opened prior to 1887, running west from Pine (later South Roxboro) beyond the town limits. Its namesake is J.S. Proctor, a landowner in the area.
In 1902, Proctor sold a tract of his land to the Durham Traction Co., which developed Lakewood Park, an amusement park, there at the end of one of its streetcar lines. The park operated until the late 1930s; in 1960, the land was redeveloped for Lakewood Shopping Center, now Shoppes at Lakewood.
Durham Freeway construction in the late 1960s cut off Proctor's eastern section and the street was closed east of Duke Street. Development since 1967 has closed most of its route west of Carroll Street; its westernmost two blocks are now House Avenue.