As the oldest public university in the United States, Carolina is steeped in history. By renovating historic buildings, rather than erecting new structures, UNC preserves its rich cultural and architectural heritage while conserving resources.
Many comprehensive renovation projects have been completed over the past decade as a result of the state’s higher education bond program. This includes the Campus Y, Gerrard, Hanes, Memorial Hall, Murphey, New East, New West, Person, Saunders, Steele, the Love House, and the exterior of the historic Playmakers Theater.
Two of the oldest buildings on campus, Old East (1793) and Old West (1820), were renovated during the 2008–2009 academic year. Inside, new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were installed. The exterior masonry walls were restored by removing a 15-year-old paint coating that trapped moisture and caused brick deterioration and replacing it with a tinted lime wash that enables the walls to breathe. New standing seam copper roofs are both historically accurate and sustainable. The high reflectivity of copper reduces heat gain and the material will last for up to 100 years.
Plans are complete for the renovation of the Morehead Planetarium, including a 20,000-square-foot addition to its north side. Similarly, documents are complete for the exterior parapet and roof restoration of Battle, Vance, and Pettigrew halls (1912). Renovations will include rebuilding the brick parapets above the roof plane and repointing the brick wall. All existing surface brick will be salvaged. The roof, currently sheathed with asphalt shingles at the end of their 15-year life span, may be replaced with a clay tile roof, which is both historically accurate and durable, with an average lifespan of 60 years.