The Brewster building is located across Tenth Street between the Fletcher Arts Building and Christenbury Gymnasium. It was built in the 70's, and was one of the first buildings on campus designed for air conditioning. It also provides an exit from each floor onto a courtyard. The Brewster Building was dedicated to Lawrence Fay Brewster on January 20, 1974. It currently contains the departments of History, Geography, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Economics, Religious, the Testing Center and Women's Studies Program.


  • Brewster Building Now
    Brewster Building Now
  • Brewster Building Then
    Brewster Building Then
  • Brewster Building Now
    Brewster Building Now
  • Brewster Building Then
    Brewster Building Then

     Brewster Building was constructed in 1970 and has approximately 80,000 square feet, with four separate wings, each connected by breezeways.1 These four, rectangular-shaped wings are located around the four sides of a square-O-shaped courtyard.2 It was designed to provide an exit from each floor into the courtyard. Brewster has three floors on the East, West, and North wings.3 On the South wing which is the long, narrow wing that houses the offices to the building has four floors.4

 

     The design for the Brewster building consists of windows with small slits in them so that no one can climb in or out and the windows have stone shutters so that no one can see in or out unless they are right in front of them.5 Brewster also has a generator that can support the whole building as well as metal gates that can be lowered quickly to shut anyone from the outside out.6 Myths claim the building had these gates for three reasons. One being that the building was built after shootings on other schools campuses, and it was designed as a form of protection if that were to ever happen on East Carolina's campus. The second reason was because of protests happening on campus, and it was a way to protect students from that as well. Then the third reason was that it was to restrict access to the HVAC units when necessary.This is not cited anywhere, however, after asking older generations, and Historians of the university, this is what they stated.

 

     Legends have it that this building was designed like a fortress to prevent anti-war demonstrators from occupying the building.7 However this legend is very unlikely but the university is not doing much to refute it. The reason this is very unlikely is because there were no student riots here against the Vietnam War.8 The biggest campus protests in those dates were over the administration's opposition to co-ed dorms.9 You can see why many people would believe this myth; as the descriptions of the building would lead you to believe that and it is stated on the ECU website as part of the official history of the building.10

 

     There is a more reasonable explanation as to why Brewster is built the way it is. Brewster represents architecture's early attempts at passive heating and cooling techniques.11 Narrow windows keep out the sun in the summer, and a building that encircles a courtyard minimizes the surface area exposed to the winter wind. 12

1 East Carolina University. 2010. Brewster. http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/campus_operations/facilities/customcf/ises/HSC/BBREW.pdf.
2 "Joyner Library » University Archives - Building Histories". 2016. Ecu.Edu. http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/archives/buildinghistories.cfm.

3 East Carolina University. 2010. Brewster. http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/campus_operations/facilities/customcf/ises/HSC/BBREW.pdf.

4 "Joyner Library » University Archives - Building Histories". 2016. Ecu.Edu. http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/archives/buildinghistories.cfm.

5 "Joyner Library » University Archives - Building Histories". 2016. Ecu.Edu. http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/archives/buildinghistories.cfm.

6 "Joyner Library » University Archives - Building Histories". 2016. Ecu.Edu. http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/archives/buildinghistories.cfm.

7 "Heard it Through the Grapevine". 2006. East The Magazine Of East Carolina University. http://www.piratealumni.com/s/722/images/editor_documents/pdf/060800East.pdf.

8 "Heard it Through the Grapevine". 2006. East The Magazine Of East Carolina University. http://www.piratealumni.com/s/722/images/editor_documents/pdf/060800East.pdf.

9 "Heard it Through the Grapevine". 2006. East The Magazine Of East Carolina University. http://www.piratealumni.com/s/722/images/editor_documents/pdf/060800East.pdf.

10 "Joyner Library » University Archives - Building Histories". 2016. Ecu.Edu. http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/archives/buildinghistories.cfm.

11 "Heard it Through the Grapevine". 2006. East The Magazine Of East Carolina University. http://www.piratealumni.com/s/722/images/editor_documents/pdf/060800East.pdf. 

12 Fosdick, Judy. 2016. "Passive Solar Heating | Whole Building Design Guide". Whole Building Design Guide. http://www.wbdg.org/resources/psheating.php.