DURHAM | One of the parts of Durham that I enjoyed walking through most when I visited in 2019 was the American Tobacco Campus. It’s a designated national historic district encompassing 14 buildings and three structures built by the American Tobacco Company and its predecessors and successors from 1874 to the 1950s.
After the US Civil War, many American soldiers developed a taste for the high quality tobacco being produced in Durham. This boom in demand was great for the city, which was home to American Tobacco, makers of the hugely popular Lucky Strike cigarettes amongst other things.
In fact, the owners of American Tobacco at one stage had a monopoly on the US tobacco market – American Tobacco is what they were left with after the US government forced the company to be broken up under Federal antitrust laws.
In a familiar story that many cities can relate to, the main industry in the city died, the city experienced hardship as a result, and went through a period of decline, before revitalising itself. Today the American Tobacco Historic District is a trendy part of Durham, home to restaurants, bars, cafes, apartments, and some of the city’s tech firms and start ups. .The redevelopment has been done really well and it’s a really interesting part of the city to walk through and learn about.
American Tobacco Campus
300 Blackwell Street
North Carolina 27701
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