Old Chapel Hill Public Library – SOLD!

  • 523 E. Franklin Street
    USA Chapel Hill , NC 27514
    Orange County
  • $752,000
  • 13,500 sq. feet
  • Lot Size: 0.94 acres / Zoning: R-2

Cathleen Turner , Regional Director
Preservation NC, Piedmont Office
919-401-8540, cturner@presnc.org

Situated in a prominent location on East Franklin Street near downtown Chapel Hill, the former Chapel Hill Public Library was built in 1966 and served as the public library through 1994. The modernist building was designed by architect Don Stewart and is considered to be among his finest designs.

Surrounded by a residential neighborhood, the multi-level building is sensitively integrated into its setting taking advantage if its sloping site. The battered walls, recessed entries with carved redwood doors, and use of native stone, wood shingles stained a light earthen color, and a copper roof display hallmarks of Stewart’s Midwestern organic architectural philosophy. Lewis Clark designed the landscape with its Asian-influenced plantings and patio areas further evoking the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Interior features include a glass vestibule, stairwell with wood treads and metal railings, large plate glass windows that lets in plenty of natural light and views to the landscape outside, a large fireplace constructed of native stone, and wood veneered walls that contrast with adjacent plaster wall surfaces. The Main Level is divided into two large spaces once used for Adult and Children’s collections, a circulation area and various office uses. The lower level includes two large meeting rooms and several smaller rooms for offices, collections/storage, and mechanicals. The Lower Level is currently occupied by the Chapel Hill Historical Society.

The Main Floor offers approximately 7,000 square feet of space, while the Lower floor has approximately 6,500 square feet. An adjacent lot provides 33 parking spaces. The property is located within a locally designated historic district and currently zoned R-2.

The Old Chapel Hill Public Library is protected by Preservation North Carolina.  Click here to view the covenants (Historic Preservation Agreement) for the property.

Area Information

The Town of Chapel Hill was established in the 1790s as home to the University of North Carolina. It remained for years a small village with shops, lovely neighborhoods, and other institutions supporting its year round residents and student population. With a current population of over 57,000, the Town of Chapel Hill maintains its charming character in addition to a cosmopolitan atmosphere.  Chapel Hill is only 20 minutes from Research Triangle Park, 20 minutes from Durham, and 30 minutes from Raleigh.

Click here to view the main level floor plan for the Old Chapel Hill Public Library

Click here to view the lower level floor plan for the Old Chapel Hill Public Library

Click here to view the brochure for the Old Chapel Hill Public Library