Storrs Hall, UNC Charlotte
Storrs Hall is the home of UNC Charlotte’s College of Arts + Architecture, which includes programs in architecture, art and art history, dance, music, and theatre. Designed by the College of Architecture; Charlotte architectural firm Ferebee, Walters and Associates; and New York architects Charles Gwaltmey and Robert Siegel, Storrs Hall was intended to be “an instrument for architectural education.” It was completed in 1990.
Exterior of Storrs Hall, UNC Charlotte, 2015
Sign outside of Storrs Hall, UNC Charlotte, 2015
Storrs Hall interior with student projects on display, 2018
Backstory and Context
Prior to the creation of Storrs Hall, UNC Charlotte’s School of Architecture shared space in the Atkins Library building. In 1980, Dean of the College of Architecture Charles C. Hight noted seven reasons why the need for a new building was urgent, including not enough capacity for students and criticism of the existing architecture spaces from the National Architectural Accrediting Board.
The 87,000 square foot Storrs Hall makes use of natural light through skylights and windows and offers many unique features. As described at the building’s naming ceremony:
"The combined steel-framed, circular columns and masonry bearing walls structure offers an ideal showcase of a broad palette of materials. The school is a veritable textbook of building materials and systems. The 8x8 inch brick and stucco exterior, end-grained wood floor, ground-faced concrete block wall interiors vividly illustrate how inexpensive, durable materials can become a building’s ornamentation."
Storrs Hall, originally called the College of Architecture building, was named after Thomas I. Storrs in 1992. Storrs served on the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees for 11 years, and as chair during his final four years on the Board. He was best known for his role as president, then CEO of North Carolina National Bank, which later became Bank of America.
The Charles C. Hight Architecture Library is located on the second floor inside of Storrs Hall. The Hight Library is the only branch library at UNC Charlotte. James H. Werntz, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs stated in 1990 that on principle, a campus like UNC Charlotte should have one library, but the College of Architecture should be an exception to the rule and have their own library to meet the specific needs of their students and faculty. In 1993 the College of Architecture and Atkins Library worked together to establish the Architectural Resource Center. In 2001, the name of the space changed to the Charles C. Hight Architecture Resource Center in honor of the dean of the College of Architecture, who was instrumental in the growth of the architecture program at the university. In 2007 the Resource Center became the Charles C. Hight Architecture Library.
Speeches--Naming--Storrs Hall, 16 September 1992, Box 281, Folder 184, Chancellor (James H. Woodward) Records, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections & University Archives, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Accessed August 20th 2021. https://findingaids.uncc.edu/repositories/6/archival_objects/101017.
Buildings--Storrs, 1980-1982, Box 1, Folder 5, College of Arts + Architecture Records, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections & University Archives, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Accessed August 20th 2021. https://findingaids.uncc.edu/repositories/6/archival_objects/81556.
Architecture Library--Proposal, 1975-1990, Box 1, Folder 25, College of Arts + Architecture Records, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections & University Archives, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Accessed August 20th 2021. https://findingaids.uncc.edu/repositories/6/archival_objects/81553.
Storrs Building considered an architectural textbook, Inside UNC Charlotte. May 1st 2013. Accessed August 20th 2021. https://inside.charlotte.edu/news-features/2013-05-01/storrs-building-considered-architectural-textbook.
Charles C. Hight Architecture Library, College of Arts + Architecture, UNC Charlotte. Accessed August 20th 2021. https://coaa.charlotte.edu/architecture/facilities-resources/hight-architecture-library.
Kat Lawrence (UNC Charlotte)