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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Architect Alexander Jackson Davis

Alexander Jackson Davis (1803-1892)

The second architect to work on campus was Alexander Jackson Davis, who remodeled and enlarged Old East and Old West and designed Smith Hall (now Playmakers Theatre). Davis was a prominent and influential antebellum architect who popularized building styles from the classical, medieval, and Renaissance periods, sometimes mixing them in a single structure. Brought to Chapel Hill by Robert Donaldson, a New York alumnus active in the arts, Davis first visited the campus in 1844. Davis also played a major role in building the state capitol in Raleigh and designed Blandwood Mansion in Greensboro.