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Duke University Renovating Homes To Preserve History

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DURHAM, N.C. — How do you preserve the history of an old neighborhood while putting in new development? Duke University decided to make the new houses look old and so far, it has been a big hit.

Becky Barrett and her husband, John, love their new home in Durham, because it looks like a classic and its style fits in with older houses on the block, but also because of how close it is to where they work, Duke University.

"Even though John works on West campus, it's three minutes away by car," she said.

Duke University owned the land for years, but it sat vacant until the school decided to build there.

"We have 15 brick townhouses that face East campus. We have 25 houses in the bungalow or craftsman style, which was popular around the turn of the century," said Jeff Potter of Duke University.

Home owners had the option of buying garages at the townhouses, but they serve a dual purpose. There is 575 square feet of rental space above each garage, which is in high demand.

"We had it rented by word of mouth. We never advertised, but we have had six or seven people since it's been rented. [They would] come to the front door and ask if it was available," Barrett said.

The homes and townhouses range in price from $160,000 to $230,000.


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