North Carolina State Legislative Building

Edward Durell Stone, architect; Holloway and Reeves, architects


Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address:

100 block W. Jones St.





Images Published In:

Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003); Elizabeth Culbertson Waugh, North Carolina’s Capital, Raleigh (1967)


Set astride Halifax Street on axis with the State Capitol, the edifice designed to house the state legislature was among the first generation of buildings planned by Edward Durell Stone’s firm along lines inspired by his acclaimed United States Embassy in New Delhi, India. (It did not supplant the State Capitol but simply provided additional space for the legislature and is regarded as unusual if not unique in that purpose). Featuring piazza-like colonnades, deep roof overhangs, and a series of rooftop pavilions interspersed with plantings, its design suited Raleigh’s southern climate and made reference to the classicism of the State Capitol as well as to Raleigh’s original city plan. The pavilions provide shaded top lighting to the interior, including the two legislative chambers and interior enclosed courtyards. Although faced in marble, the building also made extensive use of concrete in both structural elements and highly finished visible surfaces, as well as terrazzo, providing a great savings over the more extensive use of marble often featured in major public buildings.

Selection of the nationally renowned firm expressed the state’s sense of its rising place in the postwar era. According to, the North Carolina State Legislative Building commission, chaired by Thomas White (D-Lenoir), heard from many North Carolina architects interested in the project, and eleven firms made presentations to the commission. Among these was the firm of Holloway and Reeves of Raleigh. Ralph B. Reeves had “sought Stone out as a design consultant and associated architect. Stone traveled to Raleigh to meet the members of the commission in late October, and the Stone and Holloway and Reeves firms were awarded the contract for the building in early December.” The choice of a celebrated out-of-state architect for an important building was a familiar event in North Carolina, as was the objection by in-state architects, such as Dean Henry Kamphoefner of the School of Design, who complained about the selection of Stone over in-state architects or more renowned national and international modernists (see News and Observer of January 3, 1960).

According to the News and Observer, of February 3, 1963, the commission was awarded in December, 1959, and preliminary drawings were approved in June 1960. The firm of Holloway and Reeves was responsible for working drawings and supervision. Bids were awarded and work began in December, 1960, and the building was finished in December, 1962, receiving widespread praise. Despite changing tides of taste, the legislative building has maintained its stature and (like architect Stone) gained growing architectural appreciation over the years.