On the shores of Lake Raleigh, work has begun on a new “residence for the university,” which will serve as a home for NC State’s chancellor.
Designed by College of Design Dean Marvin Malecha,“The Point” is a “structure that represents NC State as well as the state of North Carolina,” he said. “We wanted it to not only be beautiful and adaptable to the ways it will be used, but also be built using sustainable practices. Our new chancellor residence should reflect our land-grant ideals. It will be approachable, yet will have the proper level of dignity,” Malecha said.
Ground was broken in March with a scheduled completion in spring 2011. The new structure effectively replaces the current residence – near the intersection of Oberlin and Pullen Roads — which has been home to NC State chancellor’s for the last 82 years.
But first, a look back to the early days of our university. Until the chancellor’s current residence was completed in June 1928 – 41 years after the founding of the university – NC State’s chancellors and presidents lived in various houses on the north side of what was then called Hillsboro Road.
Alexander Quarles Holladay, State College’s first president, owned land on the north side of Hillsboro Road between what became Enterprise Street and Maiden Lane, and lived there for a short time before selling it to the College’s first math professor, Robert E. Lee Yates (of Yates Mill fame), in 1899.
Yates’ daughter, Mildred, and her husband, Frank Brown, lived behind the home on Holladay’s land, in a home that still stands today at 3 Maiden Lane.
After the family sold the property, the Yates homeplace was converted to apartments before being demolished in 1960 to build what is now the Bell Tower Mart.
Raleigh’s 1909 streetcar system made a Maiden Lane home feasible to serve as a Chancellor’s residence – almost all of the College’s professorship lived on Maiden Lane. It was the first planned neighborhood in West Raleigh, intended to house the College’s faculty and their families.
Third President Daniel Harvey Hill, Jr. administered the College from his childhood home at 2 Maiden Lane. His father, Confederate General Daniel Harvey Hill, Sr. – a brother-in-law of the legendary Stonewall Jackson – owned the home next door on the corner of Maiden Lane and Hillsboro Road, across Maiden Lane from the Yates home.
In fact, the steps located on the north side of the Memorial Tower were built so the younger Hill could get from his office in Holladay Hall to his house on Maiden Lane with greater ease. His home, which was owned by Jean Lightfoot in the mid 1900s and converted to an antique store, has been a rental property since 1984 and has since fallen into disrepair.
Football-coach-turned-President Wallace Carl Riddick and his family lived in a spacious 1890’s-era Queen Anne house students called “Pap’s House,” adjacent to Maiden Lane, located where today, the Pullen Road extension reaches Hillsborough Street’s large roundabout.
Riddick’s family eventually sold the home after his presidency ended. In its place rose The Hillsborough Square restaurant and bar, which gave way to a parking lot (next to Locopops), after Chancellor John T. Caldwell ordered it condemned in the 1970s.
The current 7,900-square-foot residence, designed by Hobart Upjohn – who designed a number of NC State university buildings and, along with legendary landscape architect Warren Manning, the campus’ first master plan in 1919 – has undergone several renovations dating back to 1944. Even so, the house remains substantially the same now as when it was built – with concessions to more modern amenities, like central air conditioning.
The home cost approximately $30,000 to build and, upon its completion, the Board of Trustees declared that the residence, “together with the landscape work done in its vicinity, transforms a perennial eyesore into one of the most beautiful spots on the campus.”
Construction on the Centennial Campus-based residence will be completed in 2011, at which time Chancellor Randy Woodson and his family will move from their current home.
Although the future of the current residence is yet to be determined, NC State students, faculty and staff alike share a vision for its future that will pay homage to one of our campus’ most treasured pieces of architecture and university history.
Keith Nichols, Dave Pond and Matthew Robbins contributed to this story.
Image Credits (In order as they appear on the page): NC State University Archives, NC State University Archives, 1914 Sanborn Map from NC State University Archives, Administrative Services III Building conference room, Agromeck, NC State University Archives