Person Hall

Person Hall was the third building completed after Old East and Steward's Hall. Completed in 1797, Person served as the College Chapel and village church for almost forty years. In 1877 the building was renovated to house the Departments of Physics and Chemistry. Shortly after they moved in, the building caught fire and the interior was destroyed. Trustee Julian Carr paid for its rebuilding, and in 1886 and 1892 the building was enlarged to better accommodate chemistry labs and instruction. The School of Medicine later occupied Person Hall, followed by the School of Pharmacy, and then the Department of Music.

In 1936, using New Deal funds, the university turned Person Hall into an art gallery and home to the art department. The distinctive gargoyles and statue of Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton were added to the exterior at this time. The music department returned to the building in the mid-1970s and has occupied it since then.

Person Hall is named in honor of Brigadier General Thomas Person, a Revolutionary War officer and wealthy planter who used and profited from enslaved labor. He was also a founding UNC trustee. It is the first university building named for a donor. When the university needed funds to complete its construction, Person gave 1,050 silver dollars for the project.


Date Established: 1798

Date Range: 1798 – Present