For the sensitive preservation and recent restoration of the Alumni House, a 1937 neoclassical revival structure that serves as headquarters for the university’s alumni organizations.
About the Award
Each year, Preservation North Carolina presents the Gertrude S. Carraway Awards of Merit to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to promoting historic preservation.
The awards have been given since 1975 and are named for the late Dr. Gertrude Carraway of New Bern, a leader in the successful effort to reconstruct the state's colonial capitol, Tryon Palace, in New Bern.
The Alumni House is a visible symbol of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the former Women’s College of Greensboro.
The Colonial/Neoclassical Revival structure was constructed 1937 through funding and efforts of the alumna of the Women’s College and the Works Progress Administration.
The Alumni House was designed by New York Architect Penrose Stout. Stout passed away during construction, so construction oversight was completed by Raleigh architect William Henley Deitrick.
The house was patterned after Charles Carroll’s circa 1803 Homewood House at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and intended as a permanent home, gathering place, and repository for the alumnae and their history.
While larger in scale, the home has finer detailing than the majority of the buildings on the campus. Noted designer Frank Jones of Richmond, Virginia carried out the traditional interior appointments and furniture, many of which are still extant.
In 2008, a $5 million dollar rehabilitation project was undertaken to update the house, improve fire safety systems and provide a new roof and new interior finishes. The improvements were planned while keeping the beauty and graciousness of its original design in mind. Completed according to Secretary of the Interior Standards, the exterior work included new masonry stairs and salvage and reinstallation of the original slate roof tiles, in combination with new matching slate tiles. The restored slate roof proudly displays its hipped and gabled roofs and highlights the symmetrically balanced brick chimneys.
Other exterior improvements included repair and cleaning of wood siding and masonry surfaces and installation of new below-grade waterproofing systems. Inside, the house received new plumbing, electrical, mechanical upgrades, sprinkler systems and refinishing of the original plaster walls and ceilings.
New accessible restrooms were added, and the original wood floors were refinished.
Thanks to these renovations, many more generations will have a chance to enjoy this lovely 18th-century-style building.