Home‎ > ‎2014 National Tour‎ > ‎Tours‎ > ‎

3. Durham Tour


This tour will take tour participants into the city of Durham, part of the North Carolina triangle to visit some interesting attractions within Duke University.

Sarah P Duke Gardens

Sarah P. Duke Gardens today consists of four major parts; the original Terraces and their immediate surroundings, the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants (a representation of the flora of the southeastern United States), the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum (devoted to plants of eastern Asia), and the Doris Duke Center Gardens. There are five miles of allees, walks, and pathways throughout the Gardens. In addition, 2012 marked the opening of a new organic food garden, the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden.


The Nasher Museum of Art

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University opened in 2005 with a building designed by Rafael Viñoly as the center for the visual arts on campus. The museum promotes engagement with the visual arts among a broad community including Duke Students, faculty, and staff, the greater Durham community, the Triangle region, and the national and international art community. The museum presents an ambitious schedule of exhibitions that travel to major institutions around the world, and has a growing collection of international contemporary art.

Note: This element of the tour is only available to those choosing to tour to this destination on Tuesday, unfortunately the museum is closed on Mondays.


University Chapel

Duke Chapel is an example of neo-Gothic architecture in the English style. Gothic architecture is characterized by large stone piers, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses, which allow the creation of vast open spaces, uninterrupted by columns for support. The result is an imposing structure and vast interior space that invite visitors to marvel at the wonders of faith and creation. In Duke Chapel, steel trusses are used in place of traditional wooden ones. This eliminates the need for large flying buttresses, reduces the load on the walls, and reduces potential fire hazards.

The Chapel is constructed of a volcanic stone from a quarry in Hillsborough, North Carolina, which was purchased by the University for the construction of West Campus. Known as Hillsborough bluestone, the beautiful and distinctive stone actually ranges in color through 17 shades, from rust orange to slate gray. The stones are of varying sizes, all cut to the same proportions (twice as long as they are high).

The pulpit, lectern, and other trimmings are made of Indiana limestone.

The vaults of the choir are made of stone, but the walls and vaults of the nave and transepts are made of Guastavino tile, a ceramic tile also used in such structures as New York’s Grand Central Station, the Queensboro Bridge, and Grant’s Tomb. Use of this tile instead of stone also helps reduce the load on the walls. The structural tile is, in turn, covered with Guastavino’s patented sound-absorbing Akoustalith tile. Before the Flentrop organ was installed, in 1976, this tile was coated with a sealant to increase the reverberation time, making the Chapel more suited to the sounds of the organ.

These costs will be payable by the participant of the tour at the respective venue. 
Sarah P Duke Gardens  -  Optional Docent led tour of the 55 acre gardens is $5.00 per person.