Thanks, Indyweek, for this honor. Oh my. Thank goodness these are "attaboy" awards, not retrospectives of a lifetime. There's still time to accomplish something. So much gratitude for those who've encouraged The Fruit's emergence!
The Fruit has been used by me and other invited photographers to test its studio potential. Below are some photos of local musicians: Shirlette Ammons, Ernest Turner II, and ZooCru's Christian Sharp, Russell Favret, Alan Thompson and Jonathan Curry. Turner and Zoo were shot during renovation, when our concrete floor was removed for a stairwell, opening up sunlight from 15 feet above, and revealing a dark corner of the old basement where we discovered graffiti from Birds of Avalon, a band still playing from Raleigh.
I just love this photo of the original part of the building, prior to renovation. It evokes those sleepy southern towns, baking in the heat of the summer. And then there's a picture from this evening, just after sunset, 66 degrees on December 5th. Thank you all, I can't believe we made it. -tim-
During renovation we came across stickers, some of which had been covered up for years. Durham Fruit was occupied (apparently) by a company known as "Mountain Warehouse" in the 80's, and we found this sticker on the elevator door. In the early 2000's, it was known as the Antimall, home to the Electric Blender shop and 305 South music venue, perhaps where one could enjoy Metal Matinee Saturday. More recently we see three artist badges from Moogfest 2016, secured now for posterity under a metal stud for a bathroom. And from a range of recent years, the stickers by The Floor, a group which led the Moogfest all-night afterparty was placed on a column with graffiti perhaps left during art installations by Heather Carrol and Kai Barrow. Corrections to this history are welcome. -tim-
The Fruit will be undergoing renovation up till the summer of 2017 (knock wood). Prior to this, we've invited artists, photographers, theater companies, musicians and modern dancers to help us test the space. We even had a film crew from NBC out of New York swing by to give us their take. Many arts organizations and advocates have generously shared their advice with us. We've driven our architects crazy with iterations of planning.
Our aim is to get the design right so that the space can be used to fill a need in the Durham art scene. We want to serve a variety of creative people, from all corners of the community, in an affordable manner.
Artists have asked us to preserve the building's gritty aesthetic, much like you'd find in Brooklyn or Berlin.
In the early 2000's, the building was home to a collection of vintage stores and a music venue with a garage-band vibe. Actually, it was a garage. Ahead of their time, these visionaries had to shut down when faced with cost of renovations. Today, the next generation is giving it another go. The soul of the building lives on.
Want to reserve a space to work or host an event? Please stay in touch. We'll post more specifics about the building on this website in the coming months. And we'll know more in spring 2017 about our timeline based on construction. Thanks!
Nick Sanborn (of Durham-based Sylvan Esso) used the warehouse to shoot a music video for his new solo project, Made of Oak. The video was directed by Endless Endless and features Well$ and Professor Toon. Check it out below!
From fruit packing warehouse to industrial building to music venue, the building at 305 S Dillard Street has undergone lots of change since its construction in 1926. Read more about the building and its influential role in Durham's history here.
"The Durham Fruit & Produce Company has already hosted a number of notable shows, from Durham choreographer Nicola Bullock's Undone to Duke Performances artists like Mantra Percussion and the Rushes Ensemble. Imagine what the venue will do when it actually opens. The warehouse on Dillard Street, named for what it once was, has been undergoing renovations since 2014, when Tim Walter purchased it as a photography studio and venue. The official opening always seems to be a few months away, and the in-process personality of the space matches its mission and aesthetic. The building is composed of open-sided concrete cubes, and the plan is to maintain the utilitarian history of the warehouse within its design. When the renovations are finished, the Fruit will feature a black-box theater, a studio for large-scale installations, artist studios, and a wraparound porch. Walter says the programming will highlight diverse art experiences for its patrons, while providing emerging or experimental artists the opportunity to utilize the space at relatively low costs."
305 S Dillard St.
Durham, NC 27701