The Pit

The beloved gathering space at the heart of the campus, the Pit was created, possibly unintentionally, during construction projects in 1967 and 1968. Formerly the site of Emerson Field, the area was cleared to make way for three new student services buildings: Graham Student Union, Student Stores building, and House Undergraduate Library. During the construction, crews left a large dirt depression in front of the new bookstore. The hole remained while work continued during the fall and winter of 1968—69, creating a major navigational headache for students, especially during the rainy spring. The Daily Tar Heel referred to it at various times as a "man-made mud crater" and "big, ugly mud hole." By late in the spring of 1969 the campus grounds crew announced plans to cover up the dirt with a "sunken brick patio surrounded by brick steps" and "two shade trees planted in the center." In the fall of 1969 students returned to find the newly improved area. The student handbook and Daily Tar Heel began to refer to the space as the Pit, and the name stuck.