Opened in 1900 as a dormitory, the Carr Building was funded in its entirety by Julian Shakespeare Carr, an alumnus and frequent donor to the university. The dorm was built with all the modern (for 1900) conveniences, including electricity and indoor plumbing. It housed students through the 1970s and was converted to office space in the 1980s. It currently serves as the home of several departments, including faculty governance and student affairs.
Carr, who attended the university in the 1860s, made his fortune in the tobacco industry with W. T. Blackwell in Durham, the company that made the famous Bull Durham tobacco. Carr was also involved in banking, railroads, and the textile industry. After purchasing the majority of the mills in the town adjacent to Chapel Hill, then known as Venable, he asked that it be renamed to Carrboro.
Carr, a Confederate veteran, was active in politics, campaigning on behalf of the Democratic Party and championing the cause of white supremacy. He spoke out against allowing African Americans to vote and endorsed racial violence when it served his political goals. In his retirement, Carr helped organize and lead reunions of Confederate veterans throughout the country. He frequently spoke at these and other events, his speeches often featuring racist depictions of African Americans and a defense of the Confederacy. In a widely quoted speech at the dedication of UNC—Chapel Hill's Confederate Monument in 1913, Carr spoke of the period after the Civil War when Confederate veterans "saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South."
Date Established: 1900
Date Range: 1900 – Present