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Dormitories, Library and Administration Bldg., Meredith College, Raleigh, N.C.

Dormitories, Library and Administration Bldg., Meredith College, Raleigh, N.C._web

This week’s Flashback Friday  postcard depicts the Meredith College campus from an unusual viewpoint — that is, from the southwest, rather than looking due north toward the administration building, as is typically seen.


Dormitories, Library and Administration Bldg., Meredith College, Raleigh, N.C._back_web

This week’s card was postmarked on March 13, 1931.

A standard college for women. Opened its doors for students first in 1899. New buildings completed in 1925, with accommodations for five hundred boarding students. Courses are offered in arts and sciences, and in music and in art.

As is typical among postcard correspondents of the era, there is no mention of the image on the front side of the card. In this case, Bill and Myrtie give a rather detailed account of their trip north from Orlando, Florida.

Dear Folks:
We left Orlando Wed. morn. / drove 250 mi. / stopped at Brunswick, Thurs. / 333 mi. / stopped at Florence S. Carolina here to Raleigh for lunch (Fri. the 13) / 161 mi so far. Roads are wonderful and hot as pepper. No snow as yet / just like summer.
Love, Bill & Myrtie MacGuire

Talk about a whirl-wind trip! Hopefully Bill and Myrtie eventually made it home — wherever that was.

Bayard Wootten photo_ca 1940_web

The 1940s postcard view of Meredith College, above, is more typical of those published by postcard printers of the period. This particular photo was taken by famed North Carolina photographer Bayard Wootten, so it does have a more artistic flourish than the 1960s photochrome card seen below.

photochrome 1950s_web


Meredith College today is a highly acclaimed institution of higher learning for women, and is one of the most sought after private colleges in the South.

From 19th Century Baptist Female University to 21st Century Collegiate Community

Raleigh’s Baptist Female University was founded by the North Carolina Southern Baptist Convention and chartered by the state legislature in 1891. Following a fund raising campaign led by Oliver Larkin Stringfield and Baptist activist  Fannie Heck of Raleigh, construction began in 1895 on a one-acre lot on Blount Street. Raleigh’s prolific, and enigmatic, A.G. Bauer was the architect. The school opened in 1899.


The Baptist Female University occupied this grandiose building on Blount Street for 27 years.

Our readers can learn more about Bauer’s masterpiece in an earlier Flashback Friday post on the Baptist University for Women.

In 1904 the board of trustees changed the name from Baptist Female University to Baptist University for Women. Five years later the name was again changed to Meredith College, in honor of Thomas Meredith, founder of the Biblical Reporter (1835) and an early 19th century advocate of higher education for women.  After 27 years at its downtown campus, Meredith College had outgrown the confines of a single city block.

A major collegiate project formulated in 1923 when Meredith trustees purchased the former Tucker Farm on what was then the western outskirts of Raleigh, and hired the Raleigh-based firm Wilson, Berryman, and Kennedy to design a million-dollar new campus.

Under the direction of South Carolina architect Charles C. Wilson, the firm designed a standard, formal collegiate quad of six buildings — administration building, four dormitories and a dining hall —  in a Beaux-Arts-influenced red brick Georgian Revival architectural rendition. Construction began 1924, and the new campus opened  for the spring semester in 1926.


State Archives of North Carolina photo

State Archives of North Carolina photo

This photo shows the main facade of the newly completed Meredith College campus as seen from Hillsborough St. in 1930, shortly after its completion in 1926.

The 1930s-era linen-style postcard below shows the Meredith College quad (or as it is more properly known, “the courtyard”) as seen from the front steps of the dining hall.

Linen ca 1930s

More than a dozen buildings have been added to the Meredith College campus over the decades, yet the original courtyard remains intact, and the campus itself still retains its original spacious, almost rural, even, sense of space.

Flashback Friday Quiz — Can you identify a major architectural feature of the original design of Meredith College which has been lost and no longer exists today? The answer is in the postcards. Good Luck!


Our Flashback Friday tinted half-tone ‘white border’ postcard this week was published by long-time Raleigh bookseller and office outfitter Alfred Williams & Co. It was printed by E.C. Kropp Co. of Milwaukee.

E.C. Kropp Co.  1907-1956  (Milwaukee, WI)

A publisher and printer that began producing chromolithographic souvenir cards and private mailing cards in 1898 under the name Kropp. These cards were of much higher quality than those that would printed under the E.C. Kropp name.

They became the E.C. Kropp Company in 1907 and produced large numbers of national view-cards and other subjects. Their later linen cards had a noticeably fine grain. Sold to L.L. Cook in 1956 and they are now part of the GAF Corp. U.S.


“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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