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Golden Belt Artists Studios, Downtown Durham

It seems that more than once in our blog we have mentioned Durham’s history and its place in the revitalization of downtown.  The more we think about it, the more we realize that Durham’s history and legacy is the reason why we love what is happening downtown so much.  Like our own 18th century manor house at the Arrowhead Inn, downtown’s iconic factories and warehouses of the early 20th century are being revitalized, reinvented and finding a new place in the heart of Durham citzens, both young and old.

One of our favorite recent discoveries is the work done at Golden Belt, a beautiful complex of brick warehouses located on the corner of Main Street and Fayetteville Street.

In the early 1900s, Golden Belt was a busy textile mill that refined cotton into thread and produced pouches for Bull Durham tobacco.  As the pouch demand declined, along with the entire tobacco industry, Golden Belt switched to producing cotton and cloth and printing packaging for other industries before closing its doors completely in 1996.

After standing abandoned for over a decade, a grand vision of green development was finally initiated and the 100+ year old manufacturing facility was re-used and recycled to become a thriving arts community.  

Recycling defines Golden Belt.  Over 95% of the original warehouse walls and ceiling remain part of the integrity of the newly renovated spaces.  75% of construction waste has been reused or recycled and over 10% of new construction materials was regionally and locally sourced.  

Today, Golden Belt boasts a rich arts community including shops, restaurants, art galleries, contemporary apartments and 35 artist studios.  While visiting town or staying with us at our Durham Bed and Breakfast, don’t miss your chance to take a self guided tour of the facility and meet and greet  some of the area’s brightest young artists.  Take the opportunity to enjoy one of Golden Belt’s 3 monthly studio crawls: the First Wednesday, Second Saturday or Third Friday of each month.

For specifics on hours of operation, location, special events or to take a virtual tour of the facility, be sure to check out Golden Belt’s hip and modern website.  We hope you have the chance to discover the beauty and history of downtown Durham that we love!

Gloria & Phil Teber Your Innkeeper and Chef at the Arrowhead Inn, Durham, NC