About The Durham Hotel
The Durham is a boutique hotel that has become a community and cultural hub in downtown Durham. The only independently owned and locally operated downtown Durham hotel offers 53 thoughtfully appointed rooms, including six suites, an upscale restaurant, coffee bar and rooftop lounge as well as private event space for weddings, business meetings and community events.
Built in 1968, this gem of mid-century modern architecture originally housed the headquarters of the Home Savings and Loan Association. The original design by architect Perry C. Langston inspired the renovations done in 2015 by Raleigh-based Maurer Architecture and Los Angeles-based interior design firm, Commune. The renovations preserved much of the building’s character and 1960s charm. The original mid-century facade with its distinct gold accents remains. The huge retail bank floor on the main level became the restaurant’s dining room illuminated by original two story floor-to-ceiling windows. The curvilinear mezzanine with a view of the dining room once housed offices, including for the bank’s president and vice president, and now offers private event space. The bank’s original safe door, along with its massive hinges and dials, anchors the main level’s bar.
Commune revamped the interiors with chic period design, including custom geometric carpet in the restaurant, custom Moroccan tiles creating a grand entrance to the hotel lobby and custom chandeliers inspired by Yoshir Tanaguchi’s light fixtures in the lobby at the Okura Hotel in Tokyo. A rooftop lounge was added with one-of-a-kind panoramic views of the city’s center. The guest rooms are made warm and welcoming with custom-made modern furniture, lighting and amenities. The Durham forged collaborations with many local businesses to offer a unique guest experience, including bespoke blankets made by Raleigh Denim, in-room Counter Culture coffee service, bedside gifts from Burt’s Bees and minibars stocked with snacks from around North Carolina.
Other guest amenities include a business center, fitness facility, and newsstand, which is home to a permanent installation of the LIBERATION STATION Black Lit Library®. The library features children’s books highlighting characters of color. Guests and visitors are invited to choose a book and bring it inside the lobby to read in a comfortable space.
The hotel’s crowning jewel is The Roof at The Durham, a rooftop lounge with an indoor bar as well as covered and open-air seating that has become a year-round destination for guests and locals alike. The Roof at The Durham features a menu of snacks and small plates, as well as craft cocktails, wine and local beers. The Roof also hosts all manner of events, from rooftop yoga classes, stargazing nights, children storytimes, author readings and live music curated by well-known Durham jazz musician Al Strong.
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