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The Front Grounds of Peace College have provided a green and open space since the campus was created around 1860. These grounds are part of the original 8-acre tract donated to the school by the Raleigh merchant and church and civic leader William Peace. At that time the campus was just outside the northern limits of Raleigh proper.
Aesthetically pleasing up close or from afar, the Front Grounds provide a remarkable vista for travelers going north on Wilmington Street. The traveler, looking through an alley on Front Grounds of magnolias and old oaks, can see for some distance the prominence and beauty of Main Building. The fountain in front of Main was added in the 1920s when it was removed from a nearby home on Blount Street, Raleigh's most fashionable street at the time. The grounds, grass, and plantings are in excellent condition and indeed are part of a campus that has won landscape awards. Two of the White Oak trees on the Front Grounds are at least 175 years old, based on a recent evaluation by an expert arborist. Essentially, the Front Grounds are an extension of Main Building, affording a splendid view for travelers and visitors alike and a remarkably serene and lovely place for campus inhabitants.
The grounds are enjoyed informally as a place of play or solitude for people and animals. Squirrels are regular inhabitants, and other wildlife such as hawks, owls, opossum, snakes, and raccoons have been observed in the Front Grounds- all just a mile from downtown Raleigh.
The Front Grounds have been maintained in similar fashion throughout their history. As the scene for important gatherings such as reunion weekend and commencement, the grounds are an iconic, historic, and cherished place for both the college community and Raleigh at large.