"Children Playing at the West Durham Community Center" - 03.26.56. You can see the reservoir fence out the window.
(Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)
The West Durham Community Center was established in the 1950s - I'm not sure exactly when, but it was certainly in place by 1956, as the above picture shows. Before the advent of the single-leaf clover that currently connects Hillandale with Hillsborough Road (or the connection between Hillandale and Fulton,) the community center property was contiguous with the grounds around the reservoir just to its north.
1959 aerial with a red dot on the Center building.
(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)
A local West Durham resident conveyed the following via John Schelp:
"In the early days, teenagers often went [to the center] to hear DJs spin records. (Sometimes the boys would stay outside and fight.) The center had a little kitchen and a playground out back. I took karate lessons at the youth center in 1963."
"In the late-1960s and 70s, the building became a community center (with a focus on senior citizens). Folks could lease the center for different events -- like homecomings and, in 1979, a Halloween party." The center was also, per another resident, used for birthday parties.
Around 1984, the center was torn down as part of the construction of the overpass/Hillandale/Freeway/Fulton tangle of concrete and asphalt - although it appears from aerials as if the land the building stood on is simply vacant, in the middle of the 'leaf'.
Site of the West Durham Community Center, 04.08.09
Find this spot on a Google Map.