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The streets of Durham display both the building design of the tobacco-era south and that of state-of-the-art architecture that make up many of the prestigious Duke University's buildings off campus (architecture of Duke's actual campus is discussed further down). Downtown Durham is full of renovated tobacco warehouses that are beautifully renovated with space for condos, retail, dining and offices,
Nowhere is this more visible than in Brightleaf Square on Main street, a former warehouse turned shopping/restaurant plaza and general milling area. Look past the signs for the Greek restaurant and pizza joints, and you could find yourself feeling as though you've entered a time-warp, when tobacco was a true cash crop for Durham. American Tobacco campus is one of the most ambitious, largest, and farthest-reaching historic preservation and renovation projects in NC history.
The creatively restored Golden Belt enlivens East Main Street's spectacular seven-acre historic textile mill campus with a creative arts, pedestrian-focused atmosphere.
Duke University's newly constructed buildings paints parts of the city in a post-modern scene that seems a universe away from the tobacco-era (somewhat ironic because Duke was founded by tobacco tycoon Washington Duke). Exhibit A is the Duke University Hospital, built in a way that serves both form and function. Drive a mile or two down the road to Towerview Boulevard and you will see Duke's Sanford Institute of Public Policy.
The Sanford building is renowned for its neogothic style that reflects a modernization of Duke's West Campus, which features gothic design. Duke's East Campus is modeled after the University of Virginia, featuring mostly red brick buildings with white windowsills.
Durham is a colorful, creative, and entrepreneurial community of 249,654 that welcomes 5.46 million visitors each year.