Tin Can

As Carolina expanded in the 1920s, and as interest picked up in college sports, including the still relatively new basketball team, the campus needed a new indoor athletic facility (basketball games were previously held in the small gym in Bynum Hall). The new building was completed in 1923. It was big enough for multiple basketball courts and an indoor track and had enough seats to hold 4,000 spectators. Before the university had a chance to give the structure a proper name, students took to calling it the "Tin Can" after the galvanized tin covering the walls and roof. The Tin Can was at the heart of Carolina life for decades. In addition to basketball games (played in the Tin Can until Woollen Gym opened in 1938) and intramural sports, the building hosted concerts and dances. In the 1940s and 1950s some of the biggest names in jazz played in the Tin Can, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman. When enrollment swelled after World War II, nearly 200 students were forced to make the Tin Can their temporary home. The building was torn down in 1977 to make way for Fetzer Gym.