You won't recognize the former 'Oprah building' in Durham

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You won't recognize the former 'Oprah building' in Durham (ABC11 Photojournalist Jim Schumacher)

The building many people remember as the rundown place where a "We Want Oprah" message was displayed across a row of windows looks much different today.

It's now the Unscripted Hotel, after an extreme makeover of the 54-year-old former motel annex of the now-demolished Jack Tar Hotel on Corcoran Street.

Durham's newest boutique hotel is the former "We Want Oprah" building

Some people wanted the old motel razed as well, when it became an eyesore after years of neglect. But the owners of the adjacent One City Center, now under construction on the site of a former Woolworth's in downtown Durham, saw potential in the 1963 structure with hundreds of attached parking spaces on its one acre lot.

They bought the property from its former owners and turned it into a boutique hotel. Some observers expect it to appeal to the same customers who now patronize nearby upscale hotels 21c Museum Hotel and The Durham Hotel.

ABC11 will take a closer look at the Unscripted Hotel - including an inside view - at its debut Wednesday morning. Check back for updates.

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