Carr Mill Mall

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Alberta Mill Complex
2008-07-28 Elmo's Diner in Carrboro.jpg
Carr Mill Mall exterior
Carr Mill Mall is located in North Carolina
Carr Mill Mall
Carr Mill Mall is located in the United States
Carr Mill Mall
Location200 North Greensboro Street, Carrboro, North Carolina
Coordinates35°54′41″N 79°4′17″W / 35.91139°N 79.07139°W / 35.91139; -79.07139Coordinates: 35°54′41″N 79°4′17″W / 35.91139°N 79.07139°W / 35.91139; -79.07139
Area10 acres (4.0 ha)
Built1882 (1882)
NRHP reference #76001332[1]
Added to NRHPJanuary 19, 1976

Carr Mill Mall is a small, local shopping mall located in Carrboro, North Carolina. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Alberta Mill Complex.[1] It is also a host for numerous local live performances and other cultural events.


Built in 1898 by Thomas F. Lloyd,[2] it was formerly a cotton mill known as the Alberta Cotton Mill. By 1913, it had become one of the world's largest hardwood cross-tie makers, shipping them on train tracks adjacent to the mall that continue past Carrboro to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1909, the Julian Carr family bought the mill.[2] In 1913 Carrboro, previously known as West End, was renamed "Venable" in honor of Francis P. Venable, the president of the University of North Carolina at that time.[3] The mill closed by 1930. In 1945, the mill re-opened and remained open until the 1960s.[4]

In 1974, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen voted to have the building torn down to build a shopping mall on the site.[3] In light of community opposition to the plan, the idea was scrapped, and the mill complex was renovated and reopened as Carr Mill Mall.[5] The complex now houses numerous restaurants and stores as well as commercial office space on its upper levels. Weaver Street Market, Carrboro's co-op grocery, is one of the primary tenants of the complex and sponsors numerous outdoor events and performances[6] on the lawn in front of Carr Mill Mall.

The song "Freight Train" by Elizabeth 'Libba" Cotten was inspired by the train that ran on the State University Railroad spur past her house on Lloyd St, and which served the needs of Carr Mill.[7] Cotten wrote the song in the early 1900s, as a young teenager.


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b "History : Carr Mill Mall". Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  3. ^ a b Pope, Kristen (2007-01-24). "From Mill to Mall". UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Archived from the original on 2014-01-08.
  4. ^ Brent Glass and Kathleen Pepi (June 1975). "Alberta Mill Complex" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2015-02-01.
  5. ^ "Carr Mill Mall". Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  6. ^ "Community - Weaver Street Market". Weaver Street Market. Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  7. ^ "Elizabeth Cotten's 'Freight Train' celebrated in Carrboro". Raleigh News and Observer. September 22, 2013. Archived from the original on October 1, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2014.

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