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Brooks Hall

Brooks Hall

The home of the University of North Carolina Press since 1980, Brooks Hall is a two-story building at the corner of Boundary Street and Hooper Lane. The building is named for North Carolina attorney, politician, and author Aubrey Lee Brooks and his sons Thornton H. Brooks and James T. Brooks. The elder Brooks, an 1893 graduate of the UNC School of Law, established the Brooks Scholarship Fund at Carolina and an endowment for UNC Press.

UNC—Chapel Hill first proposed this building site in 1977, a controversial choice given its location in a historic neighborhood and the necessity to demolish three vacant houses that had been part of the university's 1920s-era faculty row. The town's historic district committee denied the university's request. After months of debate among the university, neighbors, the Chapel Hill Preservation Society, and the town, the North Carolina legislature passed a law that exempted state and university lands from local historic district oversight, thus clearing the way for construction. A grant from the W. K. Kresge Foundation and other gifts funded the building, along with a warehouse for the press off of Airport Road.

In 1990 an electrical fire destroyed most of Brooks Hall. While the sole occupant of the building at the time escaped injury, the fire demolished the archival copy of each of the more than 4,000 books published by UNC Press, along with manuscripts and most of its office records. Using insurance funds, the university rebuilt and expanded the building, which reopened in 1993.

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