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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Architect Alexander Jackson Davis

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.