Today in NC State History: Pullen Hall goes up in flames

February 22, 2013
By Chris Saunders

blog_series6Pullen Hall had seen many different purposes carried out within its walls over the years as a campus landmark. The first men’s basketball game was played there in 1911. It had housed a dining hall, auditorium and library. The English and math departments has been based there.

“Since 1955, it had been home to the music department,” wrote Cherry Crayton ’01, ’03 MED , in a 2009 NC State magazine article about the fire. “But because of its age and mostly wooden construction, it was restricted to limited use.”

That age and wood gave way to a towering blaze on this day in 1965, when around 8,000 people watched in the night as Pullen Hall burn to the ground.

Firefighters fight the Pullen Hall blaze.

Firefighters fight the Pullen Hall blaze.

There had been a string of fires on campus that year. And on April 2, 18-year-old former student Vernon Dodd was arrested and charged with eight counts of unlawfully burning property. He went to trial a year later and pleaded guilty to five charges of willful and malicious burning of property, but not to the charge involving the Pullen fire, according to Crayton’s piece.

A new Pullen Hall went up on campus in 1987 and today houses student affairs offices.

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