exhibits :    Meet Me on Franklin Street | Ongoing Exhibits

exhibits: Meet Me on Franklin Street: Celebrating the Character and Characters of Chapel Hill

new permanent exhibit

The tale of the town's most beloved thoroughfare has opened as a permanent exhibit.

Franklin Street is the heart of Chapel Hill, home to long-time traditions, and the place to go for restaurants, shopping, parades, protests, and celebrations. From the auction of the village lots in 1793, to the 2005 celebration of UNC's basketball championship, milestones in the town's history have taken place on our main thoroughfare.

Exhibit visitors stroll down a 1940's streetscape, photographed by Bayard Wooten, and experience Franklin Street then and now. They meet characters like "Papa D" Danziger, the Austrian refugee who brought Viennese candy, pastries, and charm to Chapel Hill. Artifacts from the town's history, loaned from personal collections, bring back the spirit of the time, such as early menus from favorite restaurants like the Rat and Danziger's, and spills* made from the shopping bags of the Intimate Bookshop.

The images, the stories, and the voices of Chapel Hill come together to tell the story of the street and its colorful history: from the general stores to the protests to the flower ladies that have given Franklin Street its character.

* - A "spill" is something that is used to light fires in a fire place. Typically they were made of paper and were about a foot long. You'd light one end with a kitchen match and then be able to reach into a deep fireplace, woodstove, or the like. It was vogue to receive these as handmade gifts --particularly when made from Intimate Bookshop bags (red and white stripe--quite festive) as was done by one Gladys Coates. They are featured in the exhibit.

(919) 967-1400 / fax (919) 967-6230
523 East Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514