October/November 2018 – The Downtown Issue

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You know those “Charlotte’s got a lot” billboards they started putting up around the Triangle a few years ago? Well, those billboard folks should start looking at Durham a little more closely.

You’ll see on pages 34-37, downtown most definitely has a lot going on. Projects range in scope and size, from 11 town homes on Mangum Street to our now-tallest building downtown, One City Center. 

It’s impressive. Would the downtown pioneers we feature on pages 38-42 have predicted this rapid growth when they moved to the city center? Still, I know they saw then what so many new people who are moving downtown saw – that Durham is a special place filled with people who care about this city.

I’m optimistic about Durham’s future. It’s because everyone I speak to – from city employees and government officials to restaurant and shop owners to my own neighbors – wants what’s best for Durham. Dom Rella, creative director for Engine Brandmakers (see profile on page 54) had a quote that struck me: “Here, there’s this perfect storm of growth and potential, and there’s also social awareness. … For me, it’s very important that there’s a great desire that this prosperity is helping everyone.” 

Yes, conversations about gentrification and affordable housing still need to be happening among us, and we need to find solutions, but it’s this social consciousness and desire to lift up everyone who lives here that fuels my optimism.  


26 Staying Pawsitive

How one nonprofit is helping underserved neighbors and their pets

34 What’s Up, Downtown 

The latest development news 

38 Downtown Pioneers

These four people chose to live and work downtown before the development boom we see today; they share why they love it, and why they’re not going anywhere 

44 A Decade of DPAC

Meet three staff members who’ve been there since the beginning, and see how far this downtown gem has come since opening in 2008

46 Hello, Fall

Hit your stride this autumn with a few fresh looks

54 On the Rebrand

Our conversation with Engine Brandmakers’ Creative Director Domenick Rella and President and Account Director Rod Brown

56 View Finders

The Bull City, as seen through the lens of nine artists from the upcoming Across County Lines: Contemporary Photography from the Piedmont exhibit at Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

72 What We Love About Living Downtown

These loft dwellers’ connection to Durham goes back more than 100 years


4 Letter 

8 The Scene

PictureDURM helps us showcase images curated by locals

10 Go. See. Do. 

Our hottest events this fall

22 Noted

What we’ve heard around town … 

28 Downtown Thrills

Duke’s Dr. David S. Pisetsky shares his perspective on two of downtown’s most recognizable venues 

30 Fashion Statement

Author Carl W. Kenney II explains his love affair with fashion, and what he’s learned from it

32 What’s Poppin’?

Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson’s take on the growing pop-up scene in Durham

64 Adopt A Pet

Meet two pups and two cats waiting on their forever homes at the Animal Protection Society of Durham

85 Taste

Discover our city’s best restaurants 

95 Engagement & Wedding

Tying the knot, Bull City-style


14 The League of Women Voters of Orange-Durham-Chatham Counties’ Women’s Equality Day

16 N.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival VIP Reception

18 Central Park School for Children’s Rise Up, 5K Ride & Run

20 FLIP NC rallies voters

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Amanda MacLaren

Amanda MacLaren is the executive editor of Durham Magazine. Born in Mesa, Arizona, she grew up in Charlotte and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in journalism. She’s lived in Durham for eight years. When she’s not at work, you can usually find her with a beer in hand at Fullsteam, Dain’s Place or Bull City Burger or getting takeout from Guasaca.

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