Louis Round Wilson Library

Atwood and Nash, architects; Thomas C. Atwood, engineer; William M. Kendall, architect; McKim, Mead and White, consulting architects; Arthur C. Nash, architect; T. C. Thompson, contractors
Variant Name(s):

Wilson Library



Chapel Hill, Orange County
Street Address:

University of North Carolina Campus, Chapel Hill, NC





Images Published In:

John V. Allcott, The Campus at Chapel Hill: Two Hundred Years of Architecture (1986).
Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
M. Ruth Little, The Town and Gown Architecture of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1795-1975 (2006).


The Daily Tar Heel of October 13, 1929, carried a long story about the library and its dedication ceremony, at which Governor O. Max Gardner was to present the building on behalf of the people of North Carolina, and John Sprunt Hill, chairman of the university board of trustees, was to accept it on behalf of the university trustees. The article noted that the library was “designed by Atwood and Nash, Inc., University architects and engineers, with the firm of McKim, Mead, and White as consulting architects. T. C. Thompson and Brothers were the constructors [sic].” The article described the edifice including the limestone façade with its portico of Corinthian columns, and interior spaces finished with marble, terrazzo, and travertine. The building was planned to hold 400,000 volumes, with the expectation of future expansion to hold more than a million. The library, which evokes McKim, Mead and White’s famed Low Library at Columbia University, was a fitting terminus to the grand new southern quadrangle of the university. It is among the finest Beaux-Arts classical buildings in the state and remains revered and well used.