University of North Carolina alumnus John Sprunt Hill built the Carolina Inn in 1924 and gifted the facility to the university in 1935. The building was designed by architect Arthur C. Nash who was inspired by antebellum Southern plantation homes. The Carolina Inn remains the only hotel located on the University of North Carolina campus.
Backstory and Context
Serving as a place of reunion for Alma mater and a place of welcome for visitors and prospective University of North Carolina students, the Carolina Inn is the only hotel located on the UNC campus. Built by John Sprunt Hill in 1924, the Carolina Inn remains to be a piece of history for the university. John Sprunt Hill graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1889. Hill had a career and fortune through his banking, insurance and real estate ventures. Hill had donated $5,000 to the library for collecting historical and literary material from North Carolina. This collection of historical and literary material is now the North Carolina Collection.
In 1929, Hill also helped convert the old library into a music hall, and he funded a new auditorium and pipe organ for the newly converted music hall. In appreciation of his funding for the music hall, the University of North Carolina changed the building’s name to Hill Hall from Carnegie Hall.
Hill funded the building of the Carolina Inn in 1924 and donated it in hopes that profits from the Inn support the North Carolina Collection in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina. The Carolina Inn was designed by architect Arthur C. Nash. Nash incorporated elements of Georgian and neoclassical designs with antebellum Southern plantation homes. The Carolina Inn’s original facade was inspired by George Washington’s plantation home Mount Vernon, which is along the Potomac River in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
The Carolina Inn has 185 rooms and suites for visitors, and it has earned the AAA Four Diamond Award since 1997. The Carolina Inn is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Crossroads Chapel Hill restaurant is located in the Carolina Inn. In October of 2013, the Carolina Inn created a walking tour through the main floor of the Inn that displays the history of the Inn, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina. The walking tour features 12 stops that encompass the complete exhibit. The Carolina Inn has had seven extensive renovations since it was built in 1924.
2. The Carolina Inn at UNC. New Student and Family Programs. . Accessed October 06, 2018. https://nsfp.unc.edu/local-hotels/carolina-inn-unc.
3. About the Inn. The Carolina Inn. . Accessed October 06, 2018. https://www.carolinainn.com/about-historic-carolina-inn.
4. The Carolina Inn Unveils Historical Walking Tour and Brochure. The Carolina Inn. . Accessed October 06, 2018. https://www.carolinainn.com/press/the-carolina-inn-unveils-historical-walking-tour-and-brochure.
5. The Carolina Inn Unveils Historically Significant Renovation. The Carolina Inn. . Accessed October 06, 2018. https://www.carolinainn.com/press/the-carolina-inn-unveils-historically-significant-renovation.
6. “John Sprunt Hill (1869-1961),” Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History , accessed October 6, 2018, https://museum.unc.edu/items/show/1327.
7. Booked.net, Booked.net, https://the-carolina-inn-chapel-hill.booked.net/.