The 1957 Home Security Life Building Tour
505 West Chapel Hill Street, Durham
One of the Most Exciting Mid-Century Buildings in Durham!

Saturday, April 20, 10am to 2pm

This tour has concluded.


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

In 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, now complete.
Preservation Durham and North Carolina Modernist Houses advocate re-use of the HSL building as the centerpiece of the block's redevelopment.These beautiful photos from the 1960's capture the high ceilings, the terrazzo floors, and the rich wood walls, many of which are still intact and in good condition.


Suggested donation: $10 per person.Proceeds benefit the documentation, preservation, and promotion programs of NC Modernist, a nonprofit educational archive working to preserve Modernist design in North Carolina. If you prefer not to make a donation, NC Modernist has a limited number of complimentary admissions. Inquire to with a preferred tour time.

The Fine Print

It will take about 20 minutes to walk through the building.You'll ride the elevator to the top floor and explore a tour route through the building and down the stairs back to the main entrance.Those needing an elevator between single floors may make arrangements at registration.

Tickets are not mailed; your name will be on a list at registration at the building. To reduce crowding, admission is by timed ticket. Please arrive about five minutes before your chosen entry time.

The building is unoccupied and not in service - so bathrooms will not be available.

The tour runs rain or shine. Once payment is made, there are no refunds for any reason except for tour cancellation. However, you can transfer tickets to others, just have them ask for tickets in your name at registration.

Architects can get self-reported CEU hours if arranged in advance with the AIA.

Unsecured parking is free behind the building. Please do not block driveways or entrances.

Food, drinks, and smoking are not allowed in the building. Photos are allowed and encouraged inside and outside!

Any questions, please contact us at the numbers below.