When I arrived in Durham nearly eight years ago, one of my first views was the old McPherson Hospital. It was in ruin then, and in ruin it has remained.
McPherson Hospital in Durham, near Duke East Campus, earlier this winter
It always depressed me to see one of Durham's architectural and historic legacy sites in that state of entropy. Part of the 1926 building has already been demolished, and now it's being denuded as it transforms into a Residence Inn.
McPherson Hospital on April 11, 2014
It appears that the entrance is being "preserved," but as for the rest of the 143-room chain hotel, well, the drawing of the finished product is not impressive. I would call it sterile if I were among polite society. And if not, I would call it a shitshow.
There have been many, many discussions about the shameful neglect of the building at the Daily Durham
and Open Durham
and The Durham News.
Yes, the McPherson decay was an embarrassment, but really, do Durham county and city leaders and developers lack imagination? The view will be no more uplifting once the valets and wheeled suitcases become fixtures on the corner of Buchanan Avenue and Main Street.