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

Agricultural and Mechanical College, Raleigh, N.C.

A&M Main Bldg_1907_web

This week’s Flashback Friday postcard features an early image of NC State University’s Holladay Hall. Except for the veil of ivy and the overgrown shrubbery, the building looks virtually the same today as it did when this card was mailed in 1907.

A&M Main Bldg_1907_back_web

Hello Leon
How are you getting on in Fayetteville. I got a post card from her yesterday. Write soon in a long letter.
Charlie Murray
413 N Salisbury Street
Raleigh, N.C.

Mr Leon Devane
Tomahawk, NC

A short note to a pal, but, wow! I wonder who Charlie’s ‘her’ was. I’m just as curious as to why Leon’s name and ‘Raleigh NC’ were copied in pencil by an apparently different hand. Go figure!

The North Carolina General Assembly established the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now NC State University) in 1887. Baltimore architect Charles L. Carson designed the college’s Romanesque Revival styled “Main Building”  in 1888; it was built by convict labor using ‘penitentiary brick’ in 1889.

For several years ‘Main Building’ housed virtually the entire college. The building had no electricity or running water; the basement contained laboratories, a kitchen, a dining hall, and a gymnasium. Offices, classrooms, and a library were located on the first floor. A total of 72 students lived on the second and third floors, paying a tuition of $130 per year, which could be reduced for students who swept floors, made fires, and waited tables in the dining hall.

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

This photo shows the ‘Main Building’ at NC A&M about 1890, with students posing for the camera.

In 1915, the building was named Holladay Hall in honor of Alexander Quarles Holladay, NC State’s first president (1889-1899).

Many years later, in 1928, New York architect Hobart Upjohn (grandson of the celebrated architect, Richard Upjohn) directed an extensive renovation of Holladay Hall. The makeover included closing in the previously open main entryway with a vestibule featuring an elegant fanlight doorway; a complete redesign of the first floor which Upjohn traversed with a neo-Georgian grand hallway; and a redesign of the central bay of the rear entrance topped by a carved sandstone cartouche depicting the NC State monogram.

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Above is a view of Upjohn’s redesign of the rear entrance of Holladay Hall; below is seen the new grand hallway as it appeared in 1930.

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

The photo below shows the elegantly detailed fanlight of the redesigned main entrance to Holladay Hall.

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

The carved sandstone cartouche depicting the NC State monogram is seen below.

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Courtesy NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center

In recognition of its architectural and historical significance, Holladay Hall has been designated a Raleigh Historic Landmark.

This week’s Flashback Friday postcard was printed in Germany and published by The Rotograpph Co. of New York.

The Rotograph Co.   1904-1911
684 Broadway, New York, NY

A major printer and publisher of postcards. Founded by Ludwig Knackstedt of Knackstedt & Nather in partnership with Arthur Schwarz of Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (a major bromide photo paper manufacturer). They took over the National Art Views Co. in 1904 to gain quick access to American views, and republished many of these images under the Rotograph name. They are best known for their view-cards in color rotogravure. Rotograph produced about 60,000 postcards that were printed in Hamburg, Germany. Style A black and white views were  printed in sharply defined collotype. Their titles were printed in a separate press run.

Rotograph logo

“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!


Discuss Raleigh

  • Recent Comments:

    • Curt: Perhaps the postcard image reminded the Strands of St. Catherine’s High School in Racine, WI. The town is 27...
    • phil: i worked in the education bldg. for my first full time job out of school, 1974-1977. it had not changed at that...
    • phil: man, the boylan ave. bridge. i worked for the engineering firm that designed the new one in its place. i still...
    • phil: enjoyed the photos and info. about the raleigh christmas parade as it was held at nighttime in the 60;s. my...
    • Hugh Privette: Wow !!! Sauls barbecue. Loved those fries! Wayne’s Rollercade! My first chance to hold a girls...
    • Ann: I remember seeing Taj Mahal there twice and Sam Bush – a friend won tickets from a radio station but had...
    • Trish Dickerson: When my parents were alive they came here alot and after they quit driving, I would take them. I got...
    • Clifton Wright/Reta: I think the Bar-B-Q restaurant on South Saunders Street in the ’60s was Sauls. Love Old...


  •