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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Old East, 1795

Old East, ca. 1797

The University of North Carolina’s Old East was the first building erected on a state university campus. The trustees chose its location in 1793 and planned to make it the first section of a three-part structure. Rather than hire an architect, in the custom of the time they designed it themselves and relied on a local contractor to erect it. The trustees deliberately kept the structure austere to save money. In 1822, a third story was added. In 1844, architect Alexander J. Davis lengthened the building and on its north end attached a façade with windows and pilasters.