Granville Towers opened in 1966 as an experiment in a new type of campus housing. The two high-rise buildings on Franklin Street, built on the site of the old Chapel Hill High School, would house more than 1,000 students in the country's first example of a private dorm. Granville Towers was built by a private company in cooperation with the university. While students enjoyed more amenities than those in traditional dorms, they still had to follow university rules about drinking and hours, and there were graduate counselors on every floor. More expensive than campus housing options, Granville Towers offered a more luxurious and more independent living experience, with furnished rooms, private bathrooms, a cafeteria, parking, and, perhaps most coveted by students, air conditioning in every room.
The towers were originally divided by gender: men in the west building, women in the east. In 2009 UNC—Chapel Hill purchased Granville Towers and the adjacent shopping center, but the towers continued to be run by a private company in cooperation with the university.
Date Established: 1964
Date Range: 1964 – Present