Building Timeline

A Historical Timeline of the Buildings at the UNC Asheville Campus in North Asheville

1960s

  • Phillips Hall (1961): The university’s main administration building, Phillips Hall, was completed in 1961. In 1970, the building was officially named in honor of Robert F. Phillips, a member of the UNC Board of Governors and the Asheville-Biltmore College Board of Trustees.
  • Rhoades Hall (1961): Rhoades Hall was named in 1971 in honor of Verne Rhoades, a prominent Western North Carolina scientific forester, whose family donated land to create W.T. Weaver Blvd., an important access route to the university. The Science Building (later known as Rhoades Hall) was completed in 1961 and served as the main classroom building. Robinson Hall was added in 1988 and the building configured to present a single façade to campus. Rhoades Hall was completely renovated in 2012 with many energy-saving features added including geothermal wells, dug on the Quad outside the building, to provide heating and cooling to the building.
  • Justice Center (1963): Charles “Choo-Choo” Justice began his extraordinary football career on the Asheville High football team. After serving in World War II, Justice was an all-American at UNC Chapel Hill and went on to play for the Washington Redskins. The Justice Center was named for the outstanding local athlete in 1973, 10 years after the building’s construction.
  • Physical Plant (1963): This building housed Facilities Management and Design and Construction. The department moved to the new Sam Millar Campus Operations Center, completed in 2006, and the Physical Plant was removed in 2009 to make way for the new residence, Overlook Hall.
  • Lipinsky Hall (1964): Constructed in 1964 as the campus’s first student union, Lipinsky Hall was named in 1969 for local businessman and community leader Louis Lipinsky. A trustee of Asheville-Biltmore College, a UNC Asheville predecessor institution, Lipinsky was instrumental in generating support for the 1958 and 1961 bond referenda which funded the move from Seely’s Castle to the present site of the campus.
  • Ramsey Library (1965): Editor of The Asheville Citizen, and city and state official, D. Hiden Ramsey was the first chairman of the statewide Board of Higher Education. Ramsey Library was constructed in 1965 and was the first building on campus to be named. The building’s lower level was renovated in 1990 more than doubling the library size. The library’s café was also added at that time.
  • Carmichael Hall (1966): Constructed in 1966, Carmichael Hall was named after Dr. Oliver Cromwell Carmichael, former chairman of North Carolina’s Board of Higher Education. Regarded as one of the leading educators in America, Carmichael was a Rhodes Scholar and British Army volunteer. He later served as president of the University of Alabama, chancellor of Vanderbilt University and president of the New York Board of Regents.
  • Carmichael Humanities Lecture Hall (1966): The semicircular 330-seat lecture hall is sited next to Carmichael Hall. It was renovated and updated in 2013.
  • Governors Village (1967):  Named after the North Carolina governors most associated with education (except for Samuel Ashe, namesake of Asheville), the Governor’s Village was the college’s first residence hall complex.  The buildings were designed as cottages to be homier and housed two students in each room. Three of the original buildings were torn down in 2001 to make way for Governor’s Hall. Six remain. Vance Hall has been designated as the Campus Police office. The remaining residences were renovated in 2010.

1970s

  • Weizenblatt Hall (1972): Constructed in 1972 as the student health center, it was named for Dr. Sprinza Weizenblatt. An Asheville physician and philanthropist, she was a longtime supporter of the university and provided multiple scholarships for students.
  • Zageir Hall (1975): Constructed in 1975, Zageir Hall was named after Coleman Zageir, a longtime supporter of the university. He and his wife, Helen, created the Sara and Joseph Breman Fund, the first major donation of its kind earmarked for endowing support for a faculty member.
  • Carol Belk Theatre (1976): The 1976 construction of the Carol Belk theatre was made possible by Irwin Belk of Charlotte, a generous supporter of higher education and former North Carolina senator and congressman. President of The Belk Group (department stores), Belk served two terms on the UNC Board of Governors. His contribution paid for the theatre’s lighting system and was given in honor of his wife, Carol Grotnes Belk.
  • Owen Hall (1979): Charles D. Owen, local textiles mogul and founder of Owen Manufacturing Company, contributed 835 shares of company stock to UNC Asheville’s Management & Accountancy Department. Owen Hall, home to the department, was built and named for Owen in 1979.

1980s

  • Highsmith University Center (1982): Named after the university’s first chancellor, William E. Highsmith, University Center was the university’s second student union. It was removed in the fall of 2001 to make way for the new Highsmith University Union.
  • Founders Hall (1982): Constructed at the same time as the Highsmith University Center, Founder’s Hall was the second residence hall built at UNC Asheville. It was known for several years as Highrise until 1997 when it was renamed in honor of the men and women who helped found UNC Asheville and its predecessor institutions.
  • Mills Residence Hall (1987): Ernest and Albina Mills established a number of important endowments at the university, including the Mills Foundation, which provides a variety of scholarships for students. Ernest was the founder of the Asheville-based Mills Manufacturing, the leading military parachute manufacturer in the world. Mills Residence Hall, the university’s third residence hall, was constructed in 1987 and named in their honor in 1989. During the interim period it was known as University Hall.
  • Robinson Hall (1988): Built in 1988, Robinson Hall was named for Asheville optometrist and environmentalist Samuel Robinson.

1990s

  • Karpen Hall (1990): Constructed in 1990, Karpen Hall was named in honor of Morris and Leah Karpen, prominent community leaders and major contributors to the university. Morris was the founder of Karpen Steel, a high-quality door and frame manufacturer. Leah was the first graduate of UNC Asheville’s Master of the Liberal Arts program. The building was dedicated in 1991 and was known as New Classroom Building until that time. In addition to undergraduate classrooms and offices, the building houses the UNC School of Pharmacy program at UNC Asheville.
  • South Ridge (1994) & West Ridge (1998): The university’s fourth and fifth residence halls, South Ridge and West Ridge were constructed in 1994 and 1998, respectively.
  • Brown Hall (1996): Opened in the spring of 1996 with the name University Dining Hall, this was the university’s third dining facility replacing the one housed in the Highsmith University Center. The first dining hall was in the basement of Lipinsky Hall. The building was dedicated and named in honor of David G. Brown, the university’s second chancellor, in 2012. In addition to the university’s dining facilities, the building also houses the Admissions offices.
  • Health & Fitness Center (1996): The Health & Fitness Center, attached to Justice Center, is the university’s first facility dedicated to student recreation. It was completed in 1996.

2000s

  • Glass House (2001): The Glass House was added to Ramsey Library.
  • Reuter Center (2003): Built in 2003, the Reuter Center houses the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville. The center is named in honor of Irving J. Reuter, a former General Motors executive, and his wife Janet, both founders of the Janirve Foundation, which provided the largest contribution to the construction of the center.
  • Governor’s Hall (2003):  Opened in the fall of 2003, Governor’s Hall is the University’s sixth residence hall and sits on the site of some of the original Governor’s Village residences.
  • Highsmith University Union (2004): Constructed in 2004, the union honors longtime university president and first chancellor William E. Highsmith. Highsmith was named president of Asheville-Biltmore College in 1962, a UNC Asheville predecessor institution, and then served as chancellor of UNC Asheville from 1969-1984.
  • New Hall (2006): Constructed as part of the North Carolina Higher Education Bond Referendum. The building features many "green" components such as geothermal heating and cooling and a vegetative roof.
  • Sam Millar Campus Operations Center (2007): The center is named for Sam Millar, long-time director of facilities at UNC Asheville.
  • Rhoades House (2008): In 2008 a seven-acre piece of property at the corner of Merrimon Avenue and W.T Weaver Boulevard was acquired by the university as a gift/purchase from the Rhoades family: the late Verne Rhoades and his wife Sally and Verne’s brother and sister-in-law William and Betty Rhoades. The property included the family home that was renovated and is now home to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs who frequently uses the facility for student gatherings. The property also provides space for the Rhoades Community Garden, where UNC Asheville students and faculty and Asheville community members can learn and participate in sustainable agriculture practices.
  • Zeis Hall (2009): Named for Steve and Frosene Zeis in honor of the largest gift ever given to the university. A non-degreed alumnus of Asheville-Biltmore college, Steve Zeis started his own firm, ZTM Sales and Service Inc, in 1983 representing some of Europe’s most prominent textile machinery manufacturers in the United States and Canada.  Frosene, an Asheville native and honors graduate with a degree in business from the former St. Genevieve of the Pines School in Asheville, managed the business side of ZTM. The building houses the departments of Biology, Chemistry, and New Media.

2010s

  • The Janice W. Brumit Pisgah House (2010): Named in honor of Janice W. Brumit, Chair of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees from 2005-08 who was instrumental in the planning and raising of private funds for the new chancellor’s residence. Her husband, business leader Joe Brumit contributed funds to the university in Janice’s name and to honor that gift, the house was dedicated in her name in 2010. The chancellor’s residence was formerly in a house on Macon Avenue and members of the board of trustees determined that in 2005, when the new chancellor, Anne Ponder, was appointed, that the timing was right to build an on-campus residence. In addition to being the chancellor’s residence, the Pisgah House allows the chancellor to host student, faculty and community groups in the living and dining spaces on the first floor.
  • Wilma M. Sherrill Center (2011): Named after former Representative Wilma M. Sherrill in honor of her advocacy for the health and wellbeing of children and families.  Construction began in 2009 and the building was dedicated in 2011. The building houses the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness with research and outreach centers for childhood obesity, workplace wellness, and senior wellness, as well as the Joe Kimmel Arena.
  • Overlook Hall (2012): The university’s newest, greenest, seventh residence hall is home to about 300 students and includes a café on its lowest level. With the addition of this residence hall, at least 40% of the university’s students can live on campus. A geothermal well placed between Overlook and Governor’s Hall provides hot water to both buildings.
  • Lookout Observatory (2014): An astronomy laboratory and observatory built in partnership with the Asheville Astronomy Club and sited at the top of Nut Hill Road that provides facilities for university students and community members.
  • 118 W.T. Weaver (2014): This facility was purchased from Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) who had used the building as its community clinic prior to moving to an expanded facility. The building was renovated for two purposes: the street level floor houses the university Health and Counseling Services for students (moved from the Weizenblatt Center). The second floor provides space for the University Advancement Division offices and conference rooms.
  • Whitesides Hall (2016): The university renamed New Hall to Whitesides Hall in honor of Alfred J. Whitesides Jr. after a public vote by the Board of Trustees. An ardent supporter of the Bulldogs with more than 15 years of service to the university and many more to the UNC system, Whitesides is a board member of the UNC Asheville Bulldog Athletic Association (BAA), having served as president of both the BAA and the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees. He received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from UNC Asheville in 2012. Whitesides is recognized throughout Asheville as a successful businessman, a community leader and a living touchstone to the city’s struggle to eliminate segregation.