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Posts tagged: architecture

Oct 26 2016

New Dorton Arena construction photographs acquired and digitized in Special Collections

Dorton Arena Construction

Mies van der Rohe and others at the construction site of Dorton Arena

Thanks to a recent donation from Fayetteville architect and NC State graduate Dan MacMillan, Special Collections now has 73 new photographs of the Dorton Arena that were taken during its construction, circa 1951. During the time in which these photographs were taken, Dan MacMillan worked as a project engineer for Muirhead Construction on Raleigh’s Dorton Arena. The photographs that he donated include snapshots of famous visitors to the construction site such as Mies van der Rohe. Also included are photographs of some of the laborers who worked on the site.

Dorton Arena Construction

Dorton Arena workmen atop riveted scaffolding

These materials are all a part of a new collection donated by Dan MacMillan, the MacMillan and MacMillan Architectural Papers. They include original drawings of important modernist architectural projects in Fayetteville.

Dan MacMillan and his brother, Frank MacMillan, founded Dan MacMillan Architect and Associates in Fayetteville in 1952. They renamed the firm MacMillan and MacMillan after Frank received his license. They were joined for several years by Mason Hicks (MacMillan, Hicks, and MacMillan) before Hicks left in 1960 to found his own firm. From 1968-1970, the MacMillans joined with Shawcroft and Thames to form MacMillan, MacMillan, Shawcroft and Thames. After the foursome split, Dan and Frank continued as a duo until Frank’s death in 1991. At this time, Dan MacMillan sold the business to George Ellinwood. He worked for a few more years before retiring and returning to Fayetteville.

Dorton Arena Construction

Dorton Arena's steel latticework during its construction

MacMillan collaborated in several instances with landscape architect Richard C. “Dick” Bell. Among their most well-known collaborations were the Charles E. Kistler-Dell Hollstein House in Fayetteville, NC, which was destroyed in 2005, and the William S. and Mary Jane Ward Residence, a U-shaped home in Raleigh, NC, built on 3.4 acres over a stream.

For more information about Special Collections, please contact us here.

Sep 29 2016

George Matsumoto Architectural Drawings Digitized

The Special Collections Research Center is pleased to announce that additional Matsumoto architectural drawings are now available online. The George Matsumoto Papers were acquired in the late 1990s and contain important materials documenting Matsumoto’s work, including correspondence, photographs, architectural drawings and sketches, and other materials. George Matsumoto’s work was documented in a publication from 1997 called “Simplicity, Order, and Discipline: The work of  George Matsumoto from the NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections.” In this book, a number of scholars weighed in on the importance of his work. Former College (then School) of Design architecture faculty member Robert Burns wrote, “George Matsumoto’s North Carolina legacy is distinctive, and, in many ways, heroic. He created a body of exceptional buildings….he also offered an example of integrity and dedication to principle that will long endure.”

Matsumoto was born in 1922 in San Francisco, California, and earned his B. A. in Architecture from Washington University. He studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and later worked with various architectural firms. Soon thereafter he joined NC State’s new School of Design in 1948 until he left for Berkeley in 1961. Matsumoto was brought to NC State by Henry L. Kamphoefner, the first Dean of the School of Design. Matsumoto is considered to be one of the key early faculty members at Design, and especially important as a practitioner and teacher who promoted modernist architecture. Matsumoto was influenced by leading architects such as Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer; Burns wrote that “The ideas that mattered most to George Matsumoto as a designer and as a teacher were those that served as the focal themes of the modern movement: strict adherence to functional demands, clarity of plan, structural logic and expression, economy of means, perfection of detail, and the rationalization of construction processes tending toward industrialization.”

To learn more about Special Collections, or to access Special Collections materials, please contact us here.

Aug 22 2016

Terry Waugh and Harrelson Hall

Terry Waugh, 1958

Edward Walter “Terry” Waugh is usually credited with the circular design concept for NC State’s Harrelson Hall, which was recently demolished.  To follow up from last week’s post, here are a few more facts about him.

He was born on 24 January 1913 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  During the 1930s he attended the School of Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art and Heriot Watt College of Engineering in Scotland, and he received the equivalent of a BA in 1935 and MA in 1938.

During World War II he came to the United States.  In 1944-1945 he had a fellowship at Cranbrook Academy, and he briefly worked under Eliel Saarinen.  In 1945-1946 he was a senior designer of movie sets for Columbia Picture, Inc.  He was a practicing architect for a few years in Kansas City, and in 1949 he and George Matsumoto designed the Kansas City Art Institute.  He also briefly taught architecture at the University of Kansas and the University of Oklahoma.

In September 1948 he became an associate professor of architecture in NC State’s School (now College) of Design.  He was among the original cohort of faculty and students that had come with Dean Henry Kamphoefner from the University of Oklahoma.  He taught at NC State during 1948-1951 and again 1958-1962.  During his second employment at the university, he performed additional duties as campus planner.

From 1951 to 1958 he was in private practice in Raleigh.  In 1960, he and his wife Elizabeth authored (with Henry Kamphoefner, advisor) the book The South Builds:  New Architecture in the Old South. During his career he also wrote a number of articles.  In 1965 he showed his paintings and drawings at an exhibit titled “Two Years of Architecture and Art” in NC State’s student union.

In addition to Harrelson Hall (designed with Holloway-Reeves), Waugh contributed to the design of various renovation projects on the NC State campus; to the Winston-Salem War Memorial Coliseum (with G. Milton Small); and the Forest Hills Shopping Center (with Raymond Sawyer) in Garner, North Carolina.  He also designed several houses in North Carolina (many featured on the NC Modernist Houses website), including his own at 3211 Churchill Road in Raleigh.  Through an arrangement between NC State and the government of Peru, Waugh design the campus for La Molina University (Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina) in that country.

Postcard of Harrelson Hall, 1962.

Postcard of Harrelson Hall, 1962.

Terry Waugh died in Raleigh on 24 February 1966. Architectural drawings for some of his buildings still exist.  Drawings and other documents about the design of NC State’s recently-demolished Harrelson Hall are included in the NCSU Office of the University Architect Records (UA 003.026) and the Holloway-Reeves Records (MC 00172).  Drawings for other Waugh-designed buildings also exist in the Edward Walter Waugh Drawings (MC 00148).

Aug 15 2016

Harrelson Hall at the Beginning

Harrelson Hall floorplan, 1959

With demolition completed recently, the landmark Harrelson Hall is at an end.  We wanted to continuing looking back at its earliest days, and we developed the timeline below to show how the building came to be created:


The North Carolina General Assembly authorized construction of a new classroom building on the NC State campus.

Plans were developed for the new classroom building to be circular.

August 1957

The Building and Grounds Committee approved the space between Polk and Williams Halls as the location of the new classroom building. 

February 1959

The Board of Trustees approved the official naming of the new classroom building as Harrelson Hall in honor of Chancellor John W. Harrelson.

Architecture professor Terry Waugh was responsible for Harrelson Hall's circular design.

March 1959

Architectural plans for Harrelson Hall were released to the public.  The architects were Holloway-Reeves and Associates, aided by architecture faculty member E. W. “Terry” Waugh.  Waugh was responsible for the circular design concept, believed to enclose the largest amount of space with the least amount of materials, a necessary requirement during a time of teacher shortages and increasing enrollment.  The pie-slice shapes of interior spaces was thought to make perfect classrooms, some of which could hold 200 students.


Plans for the “round classroom building” were finalized; construction began.  T. A. Loving and Company was the general contractor.  Concrete was a major material used in construction; some parts of the building were precast and others poured in place.

Containing the bathrooms and spiral ramp, the core of the building was constructed first.

The core of the building (including the bathrooms, utilities, and ramp) was constructed first.


Construction was completed.  The university stated the final cost was $2,250,000 (later that was revised down to $1,990,000).  At first the university claimed the building’s 77 classrooms could hold 4,500 students.  This may have been overly optimistic; a few years later, the campus facilities office stated that Harrelson Hall could seat only 3,254 students.  Nevertheless, both numbers are impressive because a total of 7,117 students were enrolled at NC State during the Fall 1961 semester.

November 1961

The public first glimpsed the inside of the building.  Only one floor was completely furnished for an open house on November 4.  At another open house on November 18 as part of Homecoming festivities, 1,200 people filed through the building.  While most comments were favorable, some criticism was noted:  people complained of noisy steam pipes, a lack of bathrooms for women (there was only one), and potential dangers with the ramp.  Some noted that it took significantly longer to walk the ramp than climb the stairs.

Harrelson Hall nearing completion in 1961

The Department of Mathematics was the first unit to move into the building.

February-March 1962

Students had already begun calling the building “The Pie” and having fun with it:  the February 8 Technician reported on a student roller skating down the ramp.  Landscaping was still incomplete, and students and faculty complained of mud and weeds surrounding the building (it would be five more years before the Brickyard was constructed).  Over time, complaints about the building mounted, including noisy air conditioning, curved chalkboards, and disorienting corridors and ramps.

7 March 1962

The building was officially dedicated as part of NC State’s 75th anniversary ceremonies and the 100th anniversary of the Morrill Act creating land-grant colleges and universities.

April 1962

The Building and Grounds Committee recommended funds for landscaping around Harrelson Hall and development of detailed landscaping plans for the open space nearby.

Aug 02 2016

Hidden Documents Within The Cooperative Extension Service Annual Reports

Annual reports and plans of work created by the Cooperative (Agricultural) Extension service document their completed tasks and goals to improve the agriculture and economy of North Carolina and its citizens. While primarily composed of text, they often contained a combination of media and information visuals designed to supplement the written information. Those supplements included pamphlets, extension circulars, newspaper clippings, radio scripts, and even blueprints.

Below are several examples of unique items digitized within these reports by the “Better Living” project.

Extension Circular No. 272 - Disease Control in the Home Garden, February 1944. From Report of Extension Work in Plant Pathology in North Carolina for 1944

Extension circulars were publications on various agricultural technical topics printed on a few pages for easy use. Many more of these were digitized in the Green and Growing project.

Magazine “Business of Farming” Autumn 1956. From North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Narrative Report for 1956

There are numerous articles and press releases within these reports from North Carolina newspapers and regional agricultural magazines. These articles were usually contributed by an extension service department agent.  The article from the “Business of Farming” magazine  (above) includes an interview with W. C. Warrick, an extension agricultural engineer and a farm couple from Alexander County, North Carolina, on the development of the best type of home for a modern (1950s) farm family.

Brochure for 1966 N. C. Farm Materials Handling Exposition - North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report - Agricultural Production, Management, and Natural Resources Use 1966.

Several brochures and flyers are important records of the educational outreach of extension agents and professors.

Oversized Bar Graph - North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Narrative Report For 1943

Oversized Bar Graph - North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Narrative Report For 1943

Many reports from the Biological and Agricultural Engineering extension office contain oversized blueprints of modern farming facilities and data charts which had to be carefully unfolded so a resource could be digitized using our overhead scanner.

Architectural Drawing - North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report - Agricultural Production, Management, and Natural Resources Use 1965

Technical drawings from within the annual reports reveal the intricate planning of agricultural research stations and facilities in North Carolina.

Photos - Report of Extension Work in Plant Pathology in North Carolina For 1944

Many photographs of extension activities were printed within the text of some annual reports. In some cases original photographs were affixed to report pages as documentation of extension activities.

Resources related to all agricultural sciences taught by the Cooperative Extension are available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history and other topics. Additionally, Historic State is rich resource for discovering information about the university’s role in creating educational materials about agriculture in North Carolina.

Jul 25 2016

Remembering Harrelson Hall

The demolition of Harrelson Hall, the first cylindrical building to ever be built on a university campus, has been a topic of conversation this summer, stirring up a mix of emotions among students, alumni, and faculty who remember the building.

In the coming weeks, we will bring you a series of posts highlighting the life of one of the most provocative buildings on campus.  For now, enjoy the images of Harrelson below and explore our digitized collections and follow us on Twitter for more!  And as always, contact us if you have questions or are interested in using these items or any other materials in the Special Collections Research Center.

Postcard of Harrelson Hall, 1962.

Postcard of Harrelson Hall, 1962.

Harrelson Hall under construction, circa 1960.

Harrelson Hall under construction, circa 1960.

Hallway in Harrelson Hall during construction, circa 1960.

Hallway in Harrelson Hall during construction, circa 1960.

Aerial view of University Plaza, Harrelson Hall, and surrounding buildings, 1967.

Aerial view of University Plaza, Harrelson Hall, and surrounding buildings, 1967.

A classroom in Harrelson Hall.

A classroom in Harrelson Hall.

Interior view of ramp around core of Harrelson Hall.

Interior view of ramp around core of Harrelson Hall.

Student in Harrelson Hall ramp.

Student in Harrelson Hall ramp.

Mar 03 2016

Image Discovery Week: Works from the College of Design

It is Image Discovery Week, so NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center and the College of Design’s Library are collaborating to highlight our visual resources. Special Collections’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections are our online resource for viewing photographs, documents, audio-visual media, and other archival material related to NC State and North Carolina’s history and contemporary events. The Digital Collections are a fantastic research resource, as well a great way to learn about our University and its students, faculty, and staff over the years.

In honor of the Design Library, here are some images from our collections of the College of Design’s student and faculty projects and art exhibits:

Please visit the SCRC blog for more information on Image Discovery Week and our collections. If you would like to learn more about the Special Collections Research Center and our digitized materials, please visit the Rare and Unique Digital Collections for access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history and other topics.

Jan 26 2016

Collaboration with Sara Queen’s D101 Design Thinking Class

Students explore notebooks of Marvin Malecha, former dean of the College of Design.

Professor Sara Queen recently collaborated with Special Collections to bring to life the early history of NC State’s College of Design for students in her class D101, Design Thinking.

Eli Brown, Todd Kosmerick, and Virginia Ferris gave a presentation to Queen’s 160 students last week, focusing on founding dean Henry Kamphoefner and the rich legacy of modernism that he cultivated in his faculty and students during the early years of the College of Design (originally named the School of Design), 1948-1972. The talk featured excerpts of a video oral history interview with former dean of the College of Design, Marvin J. Malecha, conducted and archived by Special Collections, as well as excerpts of earlier interviews with faculty and alumni.

Design students model a geodesic cotton mill, circa 1952.

This week the students came to D.H. Hill Library to view materials from the collections that document those early years. Groups of students visited throughout the day to explore a selection of items from our collections, including the ever popular notebooks from the Marvin J. Malecha Papers, architectural drawings and papers from the collections of Henry Kamphoefner, Matthew Nowicki, George Matsumoto, Lewis Clarke, and T.C. Howard, posters and publications featuring the work of Alexander Isley and Meredith Davis, and early bulletins and student publications from the College of Design Publications Records. As part of their class assignment, students selected one item to document (in sketches, diagrams, or photographs) and to analyze in a reflection paper. We enjoyed watched the students’ reactions to the materials, which sparked a lot of great discussions, and look forward to seeing more of their reflections.

Jun 26 2015

NCSU Libraries to Receive Phil Freelon’s Architectural Papers

Because the College of Design played such a critical role in his early development as an architect, Phil Freelon has chosen the NCSU Libraries as the home for his architectural archive: “I am proud to be a member of the NC State family,” Freelon noted, “and it is an honor to be recognized in this way.” Freelon has donated  his architectural records from his earliest years as a practitioner and plans to add to his archive in the future.

In addition to being a student in the College of Design in the 70’s, Freelon has taught at the College, served on its Design Guild/Design Life Board, the Board of Visitors, and the Board of Trustees. He has designed several buildings on campus, including the Partners III Lab Building on Centennial Campus and the new Gregg Museum addition, currently under construction.

Freelon is the founder and President of The Freelon Group, Inc.  His work has been published in national professional journals including Architecture, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, and Contract Magazine, where he was named Designer of the Year for 2008.

Metropolis and Metropolitan Home magazines and the New York Times have also featured Freelon and his firm.  His furniture design has been recognized nationally,  including first prize in the PPG Furniture Design Competition and design contract work with Herman Miller.

A native of Philadelphia, PA, Freelon earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree in Architecture from North Carolina State University and his Master of Architecture degree from MIT.  He then received a Loeb Fellowship and spent a year of independent study at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Freelon went on to serve as an adjunct faculty member at North Carolina State University’s College of Design and has been a visiting critic/lecturer at Harvard, MIT, the University of Maryland, Syracuse University, Auburn University, the University of Utah, the California College of the Arts, Kent State University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, among others.  He is currently on the faculty at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Freelon is a Peer Professional for the GSA’s Design Excellence Program and has served on numerous design award juries, including the National AIA Institute Honor Awards jury and the National Endowment for the Arts Design Stewardship Panel. He is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a LEED Accredited Professional, and the 2009 recipient of the AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture.

Appointed in 2011 by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, Freelon is part of the team leading the design for the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture and is a preeminent architectural designer of museums featuring African-American history, including the Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

Jun 22 2015

Large Design Drawings: Special Handling Required

Arcade Building for E. W. Grove by Charles N. Parker, Architect, Asheville, N.C., 15 July 1926

Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design is a significant collecting area for the Special Collections Research Center, as well as an area of excellence at the university and a corresponding strength within the NCSU Libraries’ overall collection. Including papers, drawings, and records of prominent architects, landscape architects, and greenways planners in North Carolina and the southeastern United States, with an emphasis on major modernists, as well as collections documenting the historic architecture of North Carolina, industrial design and graphic design, these collections contain much material that is large or fragile or beautiful or all of the above. Thus, they require special arrangements for storage and transportation.

The beauty of architectural collections is often hidden when they first arrive. If the architect stopped practicing or the firm went out of business years before we receive the collection, then the material may have been stored in less than ideal conditions and may no longer be organized as it was when it was regularly used.

To preserve architectural drawings, we store them either rolled or flat in acid-free enclosures. Rolled drawings are rolled on acid-free cores and wrapped in acid-free paper. Flat drawings are stored in acid-free folders in metal flat files with baked epoxy finishes.

Storage for rolled drawings.

Flat storage for architectural drawings.

Because of their size, we need special equipment to transport architectural drawings. To move either rolled or flat drawings within one building, we use this cart with a top constructed for us by our Building Services Department:

Cart for moving architectural drawings.

To move drawings from our off-site storage facility to our Reading Room in the main library in order for users to see them, we use a variety of cases, including these:

Case to transport rolled drawings.

Cases to transport flat drawings.

For information about our collections in the areas of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design, please consult our website.