12 Main Street (east side)

The Bela Davis House is located on the east side of Main Street in Durham’s center just north of the Amoco station. The house sits on a narrow and opened lot.

  • Record ID: 126
  • Address: 12 Main Street (east side)
  • Current Owner: Hall, Robert Francis and Helen B.
  • Name of Building:
  • Historic Name: Bela Davis House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

The center doorway is flanked by two sidelights and by plain pilasters with moulded capitals.

Historical or Architectural Importance

The Bela Davis House , built in 1865, is an asbestos-sided, 2 1/2 story, nineteenth-century house with Georgian and Greek Revival style features. This post-and-beam building rests on a mortared sandstone block foundation, and is capped by an asphalt-shingled roof with center chimney. The 5 bay Georgian facade features a full-length hip-roofed porch on the west side, supported by four turned posts with sawn brackets and a simple Stick style balustrade. Greek Revival detail is found on the center doorway; it is flanked by two sidelights and plain pilasters with moulded capitals. Surrrounting the door is a plain, side entablature. If this doorway had a notable cornice, it was removed when the porch was added. Another Greek Revival detail may be seen in the cornice returns on both the north and south gable ends. All windows are six-over-six sash with plain frames; the second-story windows are smaller than those below. A northeast addition was probably built soon after the main house, a 1 1/2 story, gable-roofed, center-chimney extension. The north side has five irregularly placed windows but more notable are the two six-paned rectangular eyebrow windows.
In 1865 Bela Davis (1800-1887) purchased a total of seven acres from Zebulon Hale and David Snith. According to the tax records, Davis built this house in 1865. A farmer, Bela was born in Durham and married Sarah Davis (1805-1891) of Madison, CT. The 1850 census shows that Bela and his wife had four children. The house passed to Eli and Reuben Hubbard in 1875.
Notable for its incorporation of earlier Colonial and Greek Revival features, this Civil War period house makes an important contribution to the historic character of Main Street.