Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Hayes Residence Hall and Watkins Art Building

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Institution Name: Queens University of Charlotte
Original/Historic Place Name: North Hall and South Hall (1914-1921), North Hall: Long Memorial Hall (1921-1997), Hayes Residence Hall (1997); South Hall: Mildred Watkins Memorial (1921-1977), Watkins Hall (1977-1987), and finally Watkins Art Building (1987-present)
Location on Campus: Buildings 21 and 19, respectively
Date(s) of Construction:
1914original construction Hook, C. C.
1994exterior restoration and interior modernization Jenkins Peer Architects
Designer: C. C. Hook (Charlotte, NC); Jenkins Peer Architects
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: masonry
Walls: brick
Roof: Ludwitchi tile
ca. 1914-present (2006)residence hall
ca. 2004-present (2006)museum (gallery space: Watkins Art Building)
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (art: Watkins Art Building)

Hayes Residence Hall and the Watkins Art Building, originally designed by C. C. Hook as North and South Dormitories, are among the campus's original five buildings. Hook was inventive in his adaptation of stylistic effects for an eclectic approach to the Georgian style, and the dormitories have the same stylistic adaptations as Burwell. As with Jernigan and McEwen, they are identical and face each other across a quadrangle of trees and grass behind the Administration (Burwell) Building.

According to Mildred Morse McEwen, "At the time that North (Long) and South (Watkins) dormitories were built it was unusual for a dormitory to be arranged in suites with a bath between each two rooms. Queens was so modern in those days that it is hard to realize [why the following statement from the catalog is important] The bathrooms render washstands and crockery unnecessary" (Queens College, Yesterday and Today [Charlotte, NC: Heritage Printers,1980], 90).

North Dormitory was renamed Lily Long Memorial Hall in 1921. This honors Miss Elizabeth Long, who began teaching at Charlotte Female Institute (CFI) in 1864. She briefly taught in the Concord public schools and returned to CFI in 1878. When President Atkinson resigned in 1891, Miss Long reorganized the school under the name Seminary for Girls and kept the institution open during difficult financial times. In 1896 the Seminary for Girls joined newly chartered Presbyterian College for Women. Miss Long was President of this institution from 1896-1899, and Lady Principal [Dean] from 1899-1910. She was also honorary president of the Alumnae Association and its first life member. A former student described her as "one who has perhaps participated in the education of more girls than any other woman in North Carolina.…[O]ne but for whose unselfish generosity at a particular crisis in the history of the Institution there would be no Queens College today.…She has spent her life in an effort to ennoble the lives around her." (McEwen, 67).

The building is now called Hayes Residence Hall. It is named for Queens alumna and Board of Trustees Member Mariam Cannon Hayes, '37. The lobby in Hayes Hall is the Lily Long Lobby to honor her memory and devoted service to Queens.

In 1994, Jenkins Peer Architects completed an exterior restoration and interior modernization of Hayes.

South Dormitory was named Mildred Watkins Memorial Hall in 1922 and was identical to Hayes. The rooms were arranged in suites with a bathroom between. Miss Mildred C. Watkins was an instructor of bible studies and a faculty member of the Seminary for Girls and Presbyterian College for Women from 1895-1909. According to a manuscript on the history of our institution, Miss Watkins "[was] one of the ablest and most intellectual women of the Southern Presbyterian Church. Her influence over the young women she taught was indeed remarkable (Rena Harrell Chambers, Our Mother and Our Queen: A History of Queens College [Unpublished manuscript, Queens University of Charlotte Archives, C89-5, Box 135-136], 34). Watkins eventually; left Presbyterian College for Women and went to China, where she taught the Bible in the Shanghai American School. From 1915-1917 she taught at Kashing High School in China. She died in China.

Watkins was first remodeled in the late 1970s to house the Art Department. It contains an art gallery, studios/classrooms, and a dark room, as well as faculty offices for Art professors on the first floors. Recent second floor renovations provide more room for History and Education faculty offices.


Bishir, Catherine, et. al. Architects and Builders in North Carolina: A History of the Practice of Building. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1990.

Hankin, Lisa Bush. "Charles Christian Hook." Online (2006). Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC.

Harrell, Rena Chambers. "Our Mother and Our Queen: A History of Queens College." Manuscript. C89-5, Box 135-136, Archives, Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC.

John Nolen Papers. 1890-1938, 1954-1960. Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Kratt, Mary Norton, and Thomas W. Hanchett. Legacy: The Myers Park Story. Charlotte, NC: Myers Park Foundation, 1986.

McEwen, Mildred Morse. Queens College, Yesterday and Today. Charlotte, NC: Queens College Alumnae Association, 1980.


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Last update: November 2006