Watt’s-Hillandale and the Downtown Durham Area.
Oriented east-west of West Club Boulevard, the historic area of Watts-Hillandale features timeless design from homes built throughout the early 20th century. Neighborhood homes are complimented by large hardwood trees that create a canopy over the quiet, old streets.
In 1910, Watts Hospital was moved to a new facility occupying a 25-acre tract near the intersection of Broad Street and West Club Boulevard. This move is what bolstered and energized the development of the local area. The hospital was initially established in 1895 where it quickly outgrew its original facility before requiring expansion. George W. Watts, a man who initially donated $50,000 for the construction of the original Watts hospital, donated an additional $500,000 for the construction of the second Watts Hospital facility.
Soon, the area known beforehand as “rural North Carolina” soon flourished into a blooming, rising suburban area. Drawn by the new business and recreation, businessmen and other professionals soon flocked to the area, building houses and purchasing lots in their wake. By 1940, all of what was once considered rural had transformed into a bleeding edge community.
Watts-Hillandale now shows its age… but that’s far from a bad thing. The mix of early to mid 19th century housing proudly displays its English and early-American architectural influences, further pushed to their boundaries by the American industrial revolution. Triangular, sharp brackets in deep eaves are featured in many of the 1920s homes – a perfect example of the times that have now aged into timelessness.
…Timeless design from homes built throughout the early 20th century…
Magazines of the time, such as Better Homes & Gardens, now clearly show their influence on the homes. Many homes of the area were built by architect genius, John Sully – providing a unique, polished look and consistent style to many of the Watts-Hillandale homes.
Much has changed since more “simpler” times for Watts-Hillandale and surrounding areas. Watts Hospital has since been removed and surrounding roads have transitioned from narrow, quiet throughways to critical infrastructure to Durham. Despite these changes, the area has remained consistent over the many decades, mostly thanks to its local in respect to central Durham, far away yet close enough.
Today, many families live in these historical homes where they have continued to evolve with modern trends and technology.
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