Save a Modern Site


Stop the demolition of Paul Rudolph's Burroughs Wellcome building in Durham, NC


In 2012, the United Therapeutics Corporation bought Paul Rudolph’s iconic Elion-Hitchings Building from the Burroughs Wellcome Company, which had hired him to design the building as their corporate headquarters in 1969.

In 2016, after demolishing part of the original building United Therapeutics said it planned to refurbish the remaining 160,000 square feet and install an exhibit dedicated to the history of the building and the scientists it is named after.


In addition to being widely celebrated in the architectural press at the time of its construction, the building became the subject of a Historical American Buildings Survey (HABS) Report prepared by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior with assistance from the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and support from United Therapeutics. The report states the building is “vacant, renovation and extension planned.”


In September 2020, the United Therapeutics Corporation obtained a permit to demolish the Burroughs Wellcome Building without consulting local or national preservation groups.

We must not let this happen.


United Therapeutics claims they have studies showing that renovation is not an option, and many organizations would like to see evidence. This overlooks the environmental impact of releasing the building's embodied carbon caused by demolition and new construction, and fails to respect the architectural, historical, cultural, and functional value of this important building.


Indeed, access to the building has not been provided to allow independent studies that could develop other cost estimates for rehabilitation and make a proper comparison against the cost of demolition and new construction.


Please sign this petition and spread the word to show your support for Paul Rudolph’s Burroughs Wellcome Building. It will be presented to Chairwoman Martine Rothblatt and the Board of Trustees of United Therapeutics.



Docomomo US encourages members, colleagues, scholars, students and architecture buffs to submit new buildings and sites to the Explore Modern project. Compile basic pieces of information and submit it to us.

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