Stokesdale Historic District (Durham, NC)

The Stokesdale Historic District is an early twentieth century urban neighborhood in southeast central Durham, just north of the North Carolina Central University campus. The district represents the southern, and only remaining portion of the largest historically African American community in Durham. The development of the neighborhood in the racially segregated early-twentieth century Durham was a direct response to the rise of the tobacco industry and the rapid growth of the city during that period. More importantly, the district exemplifies the self-sufficiency of the black community and the growing African American middle-class in Durham during this period. The influence of primary black institutions on the neighborhood, including the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Hospital, and North Carolina Central University, is evident in the architecture and planning of the district as well as the health, education, and financial stability of its residents. Hayti, the African American business district, stood just north of the district; it paralleled downtown Durham several blocks away, providing goods and services as well as work opportunities to the black community.

The neighborhood is comprised of approximately 225 residential structures and several commercial and institutional properties including the Lincoln Hospital. It is significant as a largely intact early-twentieth century, city-center neighborhood with architectural resources ranging from simple triple-A and Foursquare forms to bungalows, minimal traditional, and ranch forms. Stylistic influences include Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Mission, and Moderne styles.

The Stokesdale Historic District was listed to the National Register of Historic Places in December 2010. For a downloadable version of the nomination go to: