Goodnight Raleigh - a look at the art, architecture, history, and people of the city at night

Dormitory, State College Campus

This week Flashback Friday features a “photochrome” postcard of Bragaw Residence Hall on the N.C. State University campus. It was designed by the Wilmington, N.C. architectural firm Leslie N. Boney, AIA, and built in 1958. Bragaw Dorm was the first modernist-styled dormitory erected at N.C. State.

Something new and modern in College Student living. Raleigh, N.C.

Beginning in the 1920s, dormitories on the N.C. State campus had been designed in the prevailing academic neo-Georgian mode of the era. The Tucker-Owen dormitory complex (1947) was the last to be built in that style.

Bragaw was built on the site of ‘Vetville,’ a collection of two-story wooden barracks and duplexes which had been erected in 1946 to accommodate WWII veteran students on the GI Bill and their families.

Boney’s “new and modern” college dormitory was featured in the June 1959 issue of Southern Architect:

North Carolina’s largest dormitory at N.C. State College was dedicated last month after Capt. Churchill Bragaw, an alumnus who died heroically in World War II … The dormitory was begun in 1957 … and cost $1,931,684. It is in the shape of two “boomerangs” connected at their vertaxes by a central one-story activity area. … The exterior wall materials used are red brick and limestone … Continuous aluminum windows are on the exterior walls.

The original plan included a twin structure to be built to the west of Bragaw. However, it was never built, and Lee and Sullivan dormitories (1964) occupy the site today.

Below is my favorite view of Bragaw in this postcard series.

Bragaw Hall, North Carolina State College, named in memory of the late Capt. H.C. Bragaw, Class of 1938, accommodates 816 students, two per room, in four-room suites with bath. It has a snack bar, lounge, TV in the main lobby, and an apartment for married faculty counselors in each wing.

This view shows the “central one-story activity area” connecting the “boomerang vertaxes”.


Our postcards this week were published by Tichnor Brothers, Inc., and the Thomas Dexter Press.

Tichnor Brothers, Inc.   (1912-1987)
160 N. Washington Street, Boston and Cambridge, MA

A major publisher and printer of a wide variety of postcards types. Their view-cards were produced on a national level. They also produced a black & white series on the hurricane of 1938 in line block halftone.

Their photochomes went under the trade name Lusterchrome. They also produced an early Tichnor Gloss series in offset lithography that was so heavily retouched they floated somewhere between being artist drawn and being a photograph. The company was sold in 1987 to Paper Majic.


Thomas Dexter Press   1934-1980
West Nyack, NY

Printer of a wide variety of postcards subjects as linens and photochromes. Thomas A. Dexter was the inventor of gang printing. The Company merged with MWM Color Press in 1980 to become MWM Dexter, and they moved to Aurora, MO.

While all the photochromes printed by Dexter boor the words Genuine Natural Color they went through a variety of phases. Their early photochromes went under the name Dextone and tended to be flat and somewhat dull in appearance. As years went by their optical blending techniques improved producing richer and more varied colors.


“Flashback Friday” is a weekly feature of Goodnight, Raleigh! in which we showcase vintage postcards depicting our historic capital city. We hope you enjoy this week-end treat!


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