Peri Manns, ASLA  (919) 560-7996, Primary Project Manager

Brenda Hayes-Bright (919) 560-7991, Secondary Project Manager


Project Description

The Past: The Durham County Judicial Building at 201 E. Main Street replaced the historic Durham County Courthouse in 1978, and served as Courthouse and primary locations of justice sector offices. Durham’s population more than doubled between 1978 and 2010 and as a result, the facility could no longer serve the community’s needs. The Judicial Building was vacated when the new Durham County Justice Center opened in 2013. An extensive space program analysis was developed to identify which County departments would benefit most from consolidating in this building from other county-owned and leased spaces around the city.

The Future: The design objectives for this location included improving the pedestrian and urban scale of the building; including retail and community meeting spaces on the first floor to enliven East Main Street, and creating a vibrant Plaza Level by including new landscaping and hardscaping. When construction is complete, the building will be renamed Administration Building II to continue the County’s vision to create a hub for operations in the downtown core.  The project will include new signage and wayfinding to delineate which offices will remain in the original administration building and which will be located in the newly renovated Administration Building II.  As part of this project, the CMAR will improve pedestrian access to the war memorials in front of the original Administration Building.  In accordance with Durham County's commitment to environmental responsibility, this building is targeted for LEED Silver Certification.
The construction scope includes total removal of the existing building exterior and interior materials, replacement of all major building systems, a new elevator core, addition of a fire protection system, and complete reconfiguration of the interior. The exterior envelope is being replaced with a new curtainwall system that meets current energy performance standards, and will transform the entire exterior appearance. Large expanses of glass will provide natural light and connect the indoors to the outdoors. Energy-efficient building components and systems will provide a comfortable, healthy indoor environment and reduce operating costs.


201 E. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701 Map

Team Members

Design Team
   Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, PM&E Engineering:
     Obrien/Atkins Associates, PA
   Civil:  McAdams
   Architecture Consultant:  The Harris Collaborative
   Structural:   Summit Design & Engineering
   Audio/Visual:  J&A Engineering
   Fire Protection and Code Consultant:  Howe Engineers
   Construction Materials Testing:  Falcon Engineering
   Building Environmental Commissioning:  REI Engineers
   Fundamental Commissioning:  SEDC Engineering dba     NV5

Construction Team
   Construction Manager at Risk:  Whiting-Turner /Holt     Brothers Construction, Inc.
   Environmental Consultant:  Terracon Consultants, Inc.
   Moving Consultant:  Heery International
   Structural Evaluations:  ECS Southeast, LLP
   Moving Contractor:  Cameron & Cameron

Project Budget

Budget: $47,209,129.18

Current Phase


Expected Completion

August 2018


What County departments will be consolidating their locations into the new Administration Building?

  •   EMS Administration
  •   NC Department of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention
  •   Engineering
  •   NC Forest Service
  •   Soil and Water
  •   Tax Administration
  •   Register of Deeds
  •   Finance
  •   General Services - Security Operations Center
  •   Durham County Public Information Office TV Studio

What County departments will be located in the Historic Courthouse building after the Administration Building opens?

  •   Budget  
  •   Purchasing
  •   Internal Audit  
  •   Legal
  •   County Manager
  •   Commissioners Board Room
  •   Commissioner Chambers
  •   Clerk to the Board
  •   Human Resources
  •   IS&T

What is the new sculpture?  The new "Taurus" sculpture was installed recently and has created some buzz. Here is what you should know about this newest piece of art.

Who is the artist? The interlocking metal forms are crafted by artists David Wilson and Stacy Utley.

What inspired the Taurus? The history of the site on East Main Street between Church and Roxboro Streets inspired the artists' design. The Hotel Malbourne, an iconic 1900s landmark named for B.N. Duke's father-in-law, Malbourne Angier, occupied the site until it was demolished in 1966 and replaced by Durham County's courthouse in the 1970s. Taurus was the name originally proposed for the hotel but rejected by the town matrons in favor of Malbourne. Thus, the concept of the Taurus (Latin for "the bull") sculpture draws on the association between the Bull City's history and the site's prior use.
What makes the piece unique?  In the daytime, viewers see highly polished aluminum that reflects the building's metal, terracotta, and stone. Other areas of the sculpture are treated with a rainbow hued patina, symbolically connecting it to the bright stars within the Taurus constellation, the misty cosmic colors of nebulae, and Durham's diversity. At night, the sculpture transforms to reflect Durham's eclectic downtown nightlife – incorporating dynamic, shifting base lighting of the sculpture and embedded LEDs that are patterned to form the nine stars of the constellation.

Taurus 1

The aptly named 'Taurus' features two prominent geometric hornlike forms that appear to reach heavenly towards its cosmic counterpart. Taurus is a reference to life cycles moving on earth and in space. Identification with the bull is very old and serves as an iconic representation of time. 

The viewer will connect with the Bull City's rich history and gain an understanding of the architecture and community of Durham's past. The sense of movement in the sculpture is dynamic and imparts the understanding that these forms are connecting the viewer with something greater. The effect that the natural and evening lighting will have on the sculpture as it casts shadows onto the earth and illuminates, offers a two-dimensional version of this celestial composition.


 Taurus 3


Building Renderings

main street 1 

 main street side


main street 2



parrish street side


Construction Progress Photos

Watch the transformation as it happens!