Pullen 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.
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.