Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Taylor Hall

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Institution Name: Saint Augustine's College
Original/Historic Place Name: Benson #1
Location on Campus: 1315 Oakwood Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1898original construction Saint Augustine Trade School faculty and students
Designer: Saint Augustine Trade School faculty and students
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Romanesque revival, Victorian (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: granite
Walls: granite (interior and exterior)
Roof: slate
ca. 1898chapel (religious gatherings)
ca. 1898auditorium (assembly hall)
ca. 1898other (campus store)
ca. 1898gymnasium
ca. 1898classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (wellness center of phys ed dept.; Division of Education)

The Chapel, Taylor Hall, and Saint Agnes Hospital are among the campus buildings that were constructed in the 1800s. Taylor Hall is known for its unique architecture, which blends Medieval, Gothic, and Romanesque styles. George Washington Haynes and other stone masons working in the campus trade school in the 1880s were especially talented and gifted at their craft.

Taylor Hall was built in two parts. The first, Benson Library, was built in 1898 as an L-shaped stone structure that makes up the east end of the building. In 1902 a rectangular stone addition to its west end was first given the name Taylor Hall, a name that was eventually applied to the whole building after the construction of the second Benson Library. Taylor Hall is presently used as the Wellness Center.

Saint Augustine's College, located in the City of Raleigh, NC, was established by the Freeman's Commission of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1867, only two years after the close of the American Civil War. The history of this school tells an interesting story of how the institution was put together and how the special mission of Saint Augustine's started out as a responsibility of the Church. (Or it may be assumed that both the school and church came together to identify needs in educating the newly freed slaves.) St. Augustine's was originally a missionary effort of the national church. As the college evolved from a normal to a collegiate school, it developed into a trade school. Like many historically black colleges, vocational school was a way to prepare minority students for a life under segregation, but due in part to growing ties between the church and the college, the curriculum has shifted from an emphasis on industrial education and pre-theological training to its current focus on scholarship, research, and community service.

Saint Augustine's pursues excellence by developing: 1) flexible and innovative courses of study that integrate theory and practice through experiential approaches to learning; 2) opportunities for students to apply what they learn through service learning, internships, and cooperative education; 3) purposeful and individualized programs of study for nontraditional students, through preparation for a career change or re-entry into the work force; and 4) knowledge and appreciation of cultural differences through interdisciplinary courses, study abroad, and other programs.


Boykin, James H. "St. Augustine's College, 1938-1958." Typescript. [1958?]. Archives, St. Augustine's College, Raleigh, NC.

Brown, David W. St. Augustine's College Campus. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ National Park Service, 1980.

Chitty, Arthur Ben. A Brief History of St. Augustine's College. [s.l: s.n., n.d.].

Halliburton, Cecil D. A History of St. Augustine's College 1867-1937. Raleigh, NC: Edwards and Broughton Company, 1937.

Roundtree, Thelma Johnson. Strengthening the Ties that Bind: A History of Saint Augustine's College. Raleigh, NC: St. Augustine's College, 2002.


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Last update: November 2006