The West Chapel Hill Historic District (Boundary Increase) includes six separate areas that expand the original district, listed in the National Register in 1998. Like the original district, the increase areas are significant for Community Planning and Development, representative of the town’s continued growth and development in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the West Chapel Hill neighborhood, as well as the growth of the University of North Carolina, which is located west of the neighborhood. It reflects the national popularity of the City Beautiful Movement and Neighborhood Movement in the first half of the twentieth century.
The West Chapel Hill Historic District Boundary Increase includes residential resources dating from c. 1915-1971 and features examples of the Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, and Ranch styles. While the architecture of the Boundary Increase is generally more modest than that of the original West Chapel Hill Historic District, the areas share much of the original district’s history and collectively the district and boundary increase more accurately reflect the full scope of West Chapel Hill’s development. The boundary increase is also significant at the local level under Criterion A for Social History due to the inclusion of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity House (NRHP 2005), which was listed in the register for its association with the Eta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at the University of North Carolina.
The district was prepared with Firefly Preservation Consulting. It was listed in the National Register in May 2019.
West Chapel Hill
Historic District Boundary Increase
Orange County, NC
Located adjacent to North Carolina Central University in southeast central Durham, the College Heights neighborhood was established in the 1920s, but experienced significant growth from the 1930s through the 1960s. With its proximity to NCCU as well as to the Whitted School and Hillside High School, both built in the 1920s, the neighborhood was home to a significant number of educators. Executives in Durham's most significant African American-owned businesses, including NC Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Farmers and Mechanics Bank, also made their homes in the College Heights neighborhood, as did the brick masons, plasterers, painters, and builders who literally built not only the College Heights neighborhood, but much of Durham.
The College Heights Historic District illustrates the prominence of the African American middle class in Durham in the twentieth century and is significant for its association with the African American community in Durham. It is also significant for its architectural and neighborhood design as an intact early- to mid-twentieth century middle-class neighborhood.
The nomination was funded by an Underrepresented Community Grant to the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office from the National Park Service and was prepared with Firefly Preservation Consulting. It was listed in the National Register in January 2019.