Old East and Old West – UNC

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Client: The University of North Carolina

Scope of Services: Restoration of the exteriors to their late-nineteenth century appearances and rehabilitation of the interior for modern dormitory use.

The first section of the building now known as Old East was constructed in 1793-1795, the first building of the newly founded University of North Carolina, the first public university in the new country. Two more sections would be added. A building of matching appearance, begun in 1822 and constructed opposite, would become known as Old West. Together, Old East and Old West help frame the Quad at the center of the campus.

The project included the reorganization of the much altered building interiors to create efficient dormitory floor plans with shared kitchenettes, bathrooms and common study areas. Complete new energy-efficient HVAC systems with separate room controls were installed. The buildings were rewired. New copper roofs were installed with the original Philadelphia gutters replicated. Exterior repairs were made to exterior masonry and lime paint applied in colors matching paint analyses. The work was successfully accomplished in a construction schedule which was extremely tight, squeezed between the close of one spring semester and the opening of the fall semester sixteen months later.

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