archivists research the color in the 1980s.
Rutherford recalled that the new paint
didn't come in cans from the store but was
a "field mix" - as the archivist stood by,
the paint was remixed on the site every
time it ran out, making it nearly impossible
to match from one section to another. The
body paint was water-based and the brown
trin1. a "chalking" paint, Rutherford said,
making them vulnerable to the weather.
"That wasn't a very successful thing," he
laughed. "It looked great for the first
month or two."
Rutherford said there was a time,just afrer
World War II, when one ofhis predecessors,
Giles Horney,just took whatever paint he
had available and mixed it all together when-
ever a building needed painting.
Now, for the older buildings, UNC calls
the pedigreed conservator first, and he pro-
duces a building history in the minutest
Playmakers is getting fixed as you read.
It's going back to a cream, lOYR 9.25/0.5
on the Munsell Universal Color System,
with Hershey trin1. ( 2.5YR 3/ 4).
"There's a hundred different blacks;' Kapp
said."There is a lot ofscience in color."
"I often hear people say, they want to
return to that Carolina look;' said Jim
Leloudis ' 77, associate professor of history
and an authority on the University's past. "I
don't see one look."
Carolyn Elfland ' 69, the associate vice
chancellor who oversees buildings and
grounds and who helped start the move-
ment toward authentic colors, said,
"Cameron Avenue says 'Carolina' because
all those buildings are so different. That's
why it's so important to restore them."
The end of van
Before you plan a night raid with a
truckload of turpentine, what's going on is
not exacdy in the realm of radical. What
paint there was in the day of South Build-
ing, Person and Gerrard halls, Playmakers,
and Old East and Old West, was limited in
variety and soft in hue.
The campus did not fall, as some did, to
the Victorian fancy for multiple brighter col-
ors. And on many early 20th-century struc-
tures - Bynum, Carr, Caldwell, Howell,
Hill, Alunmi - sashes, cornices and other
trim are the only issues because their natural
brick colors always have been left alone.
What's most noticeable is an absence of
uniformity in returning these buildings to
their original colors. Black sashes on
Bynum, batdeship gray cornices on the
adjacent Carr, the chocolate on Caldwell
next door. Howell has an odd mix of
brown sashes and green window frames. All
of these have been researched and returned
to their original colors.
Most passersby are unfazed. But engage
one in a conversation about history versus
current aesthetic and they're liable to say,
"Why did they do that?"
ed: "The interesting
thing about the
campus is it's per-
ceived to be a red
design. The campus
isn't homogeneous at
all. But it hangs
together in a very
delightful way. It
gives these old
buildings a kind of
As you approach venerable Old East
and Old West from Franklin Street today,
you might well find your eyes jerked ofT to
one side or the other. New East and New
West are a buttery cream trimmed promi-
nently in brown against their older neigh-
bors' ocher (which is bolder than the khaki
hue to which they probably will return).
Although historically accurate, the newer
buildings had been a soft pinkish color, as
Rutherford said, "plain vanilla background
When the buildings were up for paint-
ing in the 1980s, the trustees balked at a
proposal to change to the historic yellow.
"Stay the course," they said.
Dave Godschalk, former chair of the
city and regional planning department and
a past chair of the campus building and
grounds committee, has a corner office in
New East. He said the resident jury is
about 50-50 on the new paint. Some think
it's too bold. He likes it.
"Every time they repaint New East it's
kind of a surprise to me," Godschalk said.
"I was surprised the last time, they painted
it a purply, pinky color. I'm getting used to
it. I really like it. It's a lot fresher. I like the
contrasting darker trim."
To the so-called "original buildings" -
/ 0 c
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