At Home in the Carolinas

At Home in the Carolinas

Grounded in Community

Since its inception in 1924, The Duke Endowment is proud to call the Carolinas home — working to strengthen communities across the two states. In the summer of 2014, we moved to our current location at 800 East Morehead Street, Charlotte, North Carolina.

After leasing space within corporate settings for many years, we moved to a centralized and accessible 1.8 acre part of the Dilworth community.Our first standalone home allows us to be "on the ground" as we serve children, promote health, educate minds and enrich spirits.

Space to Collaborate

Today's philanthropy takes place in an interconnected world, so our facility is designed to maximize collaboration and connection. The first floor is devoted to meeting space for Endowment staff, Trustees and visitors. Floors two and three provide spaces for our staff. Two levels of underground parking help us conserve land and protect the character of the neighborhood.

Ties to History

Water, and harnessing its power, is central to the story of James B. Duke. In front of our entrance, a fountain also pays homage to this legacy, as does the courtyard statue of Mr. Duke, an exact replica of the one standing outside Duke University Chapel. Building materials reflect our long-term legacy in the Carolinas.

Taking the Long View

As the first headquarters owned by the Endowment, this facility provides a place to carry out our mission in perpetuity as directed by our founder James B. Duke. We also believe that having our own building helps grantees become familiar with the Endowment so we can serve them better. Our building is designed to be environmentally sustainable, with locally sourced materials, recycled content, a vegetative roof and high-efficiency features. It is LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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Going Gold

The headquarters of The Duke Endowment is certified LEED Gold (R) by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Projects must satisfy specific prerequisites to receive certification through the LEED program.

Green Roof

A 6,140-square-foot vegetative roof over the conference wing is planted with drought-tolerant sedum and Northern reedgrass. Green roofs hold water to help reduce storm water costs and can protect a roof's membrane from UV exposure — slowing the rate of roof replacement.

Local Sourcing

From the structural steel and limestone to the furniture and landscaping, many materials were locally and regionally sourced. Components for the concrete, for example, all came from the Carolinas: The cement was from Harleyville, S.C., the sand from Bethune, N.C., and the stone from Charlotte.

Smart Lighting

LED lamps are used throughout to minimize power consumption, and wattage is kept as low as possible. The building also takes advantage of natural light.

Water Efficiency

Inside plumbing fixtures are low flow, reducing water use by 40 percent. Outside landscaping uses efficient drip irrigation, with specially selected native or adaptive plants that require 79 percent less water than turf and shrubs.


Workers recycled materials from the site — and most of the materials coming to the site had a high recycled content.

Site Sustainability

The vegetative open space exceeds local zoning requirements by 948 percent. Development avoided sensitive or vulnerable land, and underground parking mitigates the urban heat island effect.

Building Position

The longest facades face north and south. The north side provides constant indirect light from the sun; the south side provides constant direct light. As the sun crosses the sky, east-west exposures fluctuate in temperature — by minimizing this exposure, the building reduces its heating and cooling system demands.

Energy Use

The building is designed to use an estimated 19.3 percent less energy than a conventional design.

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Art Collection

Our headquarters is designed be a more than just a location from which to conduct our work. From the outset, the building was intentionally constructed as a welcoming resource for grantees and as a symbol of Mr. Duke's legacy for the Carolinas.

In that spirit, we are proud to display artwork that inspires the same sense of connection to our region and the place that our founder called "home."

  • Bienvenue to the Carolina Chorus of Good Tidings, Panel 1 and 2

    Sheila Hicks (b. 1934)

    Inspired by the vegetation flanking the Semans Conference Center, Sheila Hicks designed the texture of each panel to evoke the sensation of passing through a forest with light entering from both sides. The vertical lines suggest the abbreviated forms of trees and other vegetation, as if viewed while driving through a forested area.

  • James B. Duke (Statue)

    Charles Keck (1875-1951)

    The Duke Endowment commissioned the original bronze statue of James B. Duke in 1934 as a gift to Duke University. The sculptor, Charles Keck, chose a pensive pose, with Mr. Duke holding a walking stick in his right hand and the ever-present cigar in his left.

  • Veronica's Veil CXCVII and CCXVIII

    Herb Jackson (b. 1945)

    Born in Raleigh, N.C., Herb Jackson is intrigued with the mysticism represented by the medieval myth of St. Veronica, who wiped Christ’s face as he carried his cross, leaving his image on her veil. He applies paint mixed with pumice in many layers, which he then scrapes off to allow shapes and marks to come and go. 

  • Mother Image/Father Image

    Leo Twiggs (b. 1934)

    Born in St. Stephen, S.C., Leo Twiggs has won international recognition and numerous awards for his work. In Mother Image/Father Image, Twiggs explains that the mother and father are separate to suggest their different roles.

  • Comings and Goings

    Maud Gatewood (1934-2004)

    This acrylic on canvas painting by Maud Gatewood, one of North Carolina's most important 20th century artists, was inspired by the hustle and bustle of a North Carolina college campus on a wet autumn day. Her paintings have been exhibited throughout the Southeast and have received many awards.

  • Merry Falls

    Julyan Davis (b. 1965)

    Julyan Davis’ oil on canvas painting connects us to James B. Duke’s advancement of hydroelectric power in the Carolinas. His early autumnal depiction of this waterfall, located near Brevard, North Carolina, captures the energy inherent in the cascading water as well as the subtle variances in the surface of the rock.

  • Cedar Grove United Methodist Church and Rhems United Methodist Church

    Edward Rice (b. 1953)

    A native of South Carolina, Edward Rice is known for his evocative depictions of place. The churches portrayed in these oil paintings were chosen as subjects both for their beauty and as examples of the congregational outreach that takes place. Rhems reflects the Colonial Revival style while Cedar Grove is a more stout Gothic Revival building. 

  • Mountain Church

    Eugene Healan Thomason (1895-1972)

    Eugene Healan Thomason aspired to be an artist at an early age and, after completing a portrait of Mr. Duke, the philanthropist supported his academic training. Eugene later moved to the North Carolina mountains, where he painted everyday life in Appalachia. Mountain Church, an oil on canvas, is one of his more narrative treatments.

  • Ayr Mount

    John Beerman (b. 1958)

    The landscape surrounding Ayr Mount, a Federal-era plantation house built in 1815 in Hillsborough, N.C., served as the inspiration for this oil on linen painting. John Beerman's poetic interpretation of the scenery is a symbolic evocation of the meditative and spiritual power of nature.

  • Artist Spotlight: Sheila Hicks

    This short video features a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Sheila Hicks as she brings the energy and vibrancy of her highly acclaimed textile compositions to The Duke Endowment

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Meeting Space

To foster a spirit of collaboration among our partners, The Duke Endowment is pleased to offer our conference rooms to current and past grantees. If you are an Endowment grantee and would like to hold a meeting in our building, please complete the form below. We will contact you regarding availability and logistics.

Please review our Guidelines for Conference Center and Meeting Spaces.

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Areas of Work

  • Prevention and early intervention for at-risk children

    To equip children and families with skills to ensure that children reach developmental milestones to lead successful lives.

  • Out-of-home care for youth

    To drive child welfare systems toward greater accountability for child well-being.

  • Quality and safety of health care

    Improving the quality and safety of health care delivery

  • Access to health care

    Improving health by increasing access to comprehensive care

  • Prevention

    Expanding programs to promote health and prevent disease

  • Academic excellence

    Enhancing academic excellence through program and campus development

  • Educational access and success

    Increasing educational access and supporting a learning environment that promotes achievement

  • Campus and community engagement

    Promoting a culture of service, collaboration and engagement among schools and communities

  • Rural church development

    Building the infrastructure and capacity of United Methodist churches to enhance ministry and mission

  • Clergy leadership

    Strengthening United Methodist churches by improving the quality and effectiveness of church leadership

  • Congregational outreach

    Engaging United Methodist congregations in programs that serve their communities

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