Architecture You Love
A North Carolina 501C3 Educational Nonprofit Archive Documenting, Preserving, and Promoting Residential Modernist Architecture


Enjoy browsing, but unless otherwise noted, these houses are private property and closed to the public -- so don't go tromping around uninvited.

Preservation Durham + North Carolina Modernist Houses Promote Adaptive Re-Use of the Durham Police Department (DPD), formerly the Home Security Life (HSL) Building, 505 West Chapel Hill Street, Durham NC

Latest News:  The Durham City-County Appearance Commission has recommended preservation of the building in their 9/20 letter to the City and County.

Show up for the City Council work session at 1pm on November 9 when City-hired consultants will present their recommendations to the Council.

Architect Phil Freelon of Perkins+Will recently hosted a national design competition for ideas to redevelop the site and building.  The above plan won, created by Jessica Braverman, Sarah Dickerson, and Jayne Kim.  Coverage in the News and Observer/HeraldSun. and Architects+Artisans.

This Modernist office building was designed by architect G. Milton Small Jr., a student of the internationally known architect Mies Van der Rohe of Chicago, for the Home Security Life Insurance Company.

Building History from Open Durham * Architect G. Milton Small, Jr.
3515 Glenwood, another building by Small recently destroyed

Since the mid-1990's, the City of Durham bought the building to use as their Police Headquarters.  Starting in 2015, the City decided to build a new, larger Police Department in East Durham. 

Preservation Durham and North Carolina Modernist Houses advocate re-use of the HSL building, which is in good condition, as the centerpiece of the block's redevelopment. 

Renovating the building is considerably less expensive than demolition and new contruction.  However, two of the four City options involve destroying the building, as below.  More details.


Key Contacts:

Site and disposition/re-use process, Stacey Poston, Special Projects Manager with the City of Durham General Services Department, by email or call 919-560-4197, ext. 21254

Outreach events, Matthew Filter, Senior Planner with the Durham City-County Planning Department, by email or call 919-560-4137, ext. 28271

Ben Filippo, Executive Director, Preservation Durham, 919-682-3036

George Smart, Executive Director, North Carolina Modernist Houses, 919-740-8407

What you can do at this point:

Visit Durham's website, where you can get more details of the plans above.

Sign up for building updates from the City.

Sign up for the NCMH newsletter.

Buy a button and support the preservation effort!

Here are some beautiful photos of the building from the 1960's.  Note the high ceilings, the terazzo floors, and the rich wood walls.  The vast majority of these features are still intact and in good condition.