The tower at the heart of victory celebrations. The brick plaza where causes are advanced, relationships rebooted and lunches inhaled. The quiet courtyard or forest that offers a respite from a bustling campus.
These are NC State’s hallowed places.
“Over time, these places have accrued special meaning,” according to the NC State physical master plan. “This unique designation is awarded only to those buildings and places to which people have created lasting bonds over generations.”
The Memorial Belltower
Perhaps the best-known structure on the NC State campus, the Memorial Belltower is a monument to alumni killed in military service in World War I. Construction occurred in phases between 1920 and 1949, and a student-led project is raising money to put bells in the tower today. A red Belltower, often surrounded by celebrating Pack fans, is a sign of academic, athletic or research success.
Today, nearly 450 buildings dot NC State’s Raleigh campus. In 1889, the university opened with just one: Holladay Hall. It’s still home to the offices of Chancellor Randy Woodson, among others. Holladay also houses the carillon that furnishes tones for the Belltower.
From Dixie Classic games to class registration to commencement to “Don’t ever give up,” Reynolds Coliseum has been many things to NC State: ROTC headquarters, campus hub, basketball mecca, concert central, presidential pulpit and more.
Mary Yarbrough Courtyard
A quiet escape on an otherwise raucous campus, the space between Leazar, Peele and Watauga Hall was named the Mary Yarbrough Courtyard to honor the first woman to complete a graduate program at NC State. Yarbrough graduated in 1927 with a master’s degree in chemistry. The courtyard is flanked by some of the most historic buildings on campus and includes a fountain donated by the 2001 senior class.
The Free-Expression Tunnel
The most heavily trafficked of three tunnels on main campus, the Free-Expression Tunnel is a canvas for expression among NC State students, faculty and staff. It was designated a graffiti-friendly zone in the late 1960s. Today, it’s also the site of the Ram Roast, an annual event preceding the UNC-Chapel Hill football game. After a pep rally with the NC State football team and marching band, students stay up all night to protect the tunnel from Tar Heel fans with paintbrushes.
University Plaza (The Brickyard)
The brick is NC State’s signature building material, and its showplace is the University Plaza, better known as the Brickyard. Since opening in 1969, it has been the most active throughway on campus. Thousands of students traverse it on the way to classes, D.H. Hill Library, lunch, Hillsborough Street or back home.
The Brickyard is also a hub for campus service and community-building. At any given time of year, you’ll find students giving blood, living in shacks to support Habitat for Humanity or buying fresh, local food from the Campus Farmers Market.
The Court of North Carolina
Dedicated in 1986, the Court of North Carolina is the largest green space on main campus. It was designated in celebration of the university’s 100th anniversary. During snowstorms, students are powerless against the pull of its long, sloping hills, perfect for sledding.
Lake Raleigh Woods
The only hallowed place on Centennial Campus, the Lake Raleigh Woods are a testament to North Carolina’s natural beauty. The 96-acre forest is an educational and recreational asset, hosting birdwatchers, hikers and researchers alike.
College of Veterinary Medicine Pastures
Another massive green space, the pastures at the College of Veterinary Medicine are home to many of the animals raised for teaching and research.