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The Carolina Inn Unveils Historical Walking Tour and Brochure

Best place on campus to see permanent exhibits of UNC history

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (October 2013) – The Carolina Inn announces the creation of a Historical Walking Tour (HWT) brochure, featuring highlights of the hotel’s historical architecture, furnishings, and art, along with fascinating award-winning displays of aspects of North Carolina, UNC-Chapel Hill and the Inn’s history.

The HWT takes guests through 12 stops on the main floor, and includes a map of the extensive display of notable UNC people and places, located along the guestroom corridors. The HWT is available as a beautiful new full color brochure at the front desk, and a PDF version is located on the Inn’s website at The HWT of the main floor will take approximately 30 minutes, depending on individual interest and pace.   “The beautiful and extensive displays cover five centuries of North Carolina and UNC history, and were created as an integral part of the recent multi-million renovation,” said Dr. Kenneth Zogry, historian of The Carolina Inn since 1998 and author of The University’s Living Room: A History of The Carolina Inn. “These new displays earned The Carolina Inn a ‘Best Practices Award’ from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Hotels of America Program. With these new displays and the HWT, The Carolina Inn is now the best place on campus to see permanent exhibits of UNC history.” 

The brochure also includes a map of the extensive exhibit of nearly 700 photographs and short biographies of notable UNC alumni and faculty from 1795 to 1965. These are displayed along 12 guest room corridors organized by academic themes, and repeat on each floor. Also along the corridors are five lounges with special thematic displays: every UNC athletic team since 1924 to win an NCAA championship; “Firsts” at the First State University; UNC Nobel Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom winners; Drama; and Music.

Here are highlights of the 12 stops: 1. The Carolina Inn’s rich architectural and interior design history is presented with photographs and rare artifacts from 1924 to the present in a specially designed display cabinet.  2. A selection of full-sized reproductions of rare prints of the flora and fauna of colonial North Carolina and surrounding areas by British naturalist Mark Catesby, dating to the 1720s, are displayed in the Sunroom. These images, scanned from an original set of the bound volumes now in the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library, were also used as design sources woven into carpets throughout the Inn in the recent renovation. 3. The Carolina Inn owns a limited edition set of reproduction drawings made in the late 1500s by John White during his voyages to the ill-fated Roanoke settlement, on what is today North Carolina’s Outer Banks. These reproductions were printed in 1964 by UNC Press, in conjunction with the British Museum, which owns the originals. Also in this area is a small display about the symphonic drama, “The Lost Colony,” about the doomed Roanoke settlement, which was written by UNC drama professor Paul Green in 1937, and has other interesting ties to the University. 4. Original sheet music of UNC school and fight songs from the 1920s to the 1940s. 5. 1970 painting of The Carolina Inn by UNC alumnus and Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, Jeff MacNelly. The image was used on brochures and menu covers into the 1980s. Also on display is a facsimile of a handwritten letter by MacNelly about the painting. 6. Portraits of John Sprunt Hill and his wife, Annie Watts Hill. An 1889 alumnus of UNC, Hill built The Carolina Inn as a private enterprise in 1924, and he and his family generously donated it to the University in 1935.  7. A fascinating chronological social history of The Carolina Inn, 1924 to the present, which begins just past the lobby and extends down the North and East Halls past the restaurant.  8. A history of the Old Well, the iconic symbol of UNC, told in photographs and text near the entrance to the Old Well Ballroom. 9. A collection of 12 enlargements of historical postcard views of The Carolina Inn, from the 1920 to the 1980s, is located in the corridor between the restaurant and bar. 10. Nearly 90 student drawn cartoons from the campus newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, dating from the 1940s to 2010, decorate the walls of the Crossroads Bar. 11. Panels of rare Zuber wallpaper, originally made in France in the 1830s and depicting scenes of the early United States, grace the corridor between the North and South Parlors. The wallpaper was installed in this location by famed designer Otto Zenke in 1946, and underwent a full conservation and restoration treatment in 2008. Panels from this dramatic set also grace the White House and the renowned Greenbrier Hotel.  12. In the North and South Parlors are a total of nine original 19th century portraits of prominent North Carolinians associated with UNC. These portraits are on long-term loan from the Dialectic and Philanthropic Society, the oldest student organization on campus, founded in the late 18th century. 

About The Carolina Inn Built on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill in 1924 by John Sprunt Hill – distinguished alumnus, successful businessman and University trustee – The Carolina Inn’s original concept was “to provide for the special wants and comforts of the University alumni...and University visitors.” The historical Carolina Inn features 185 charming and well-appointed guestrooms including 7 luxury suites. The Carolina Inn and its Carolina Crossroads Restaurant were awarded AAA’s prestigious 2013 Four Diamond ratings, marking the 16th consecutive hotel honor and 11th straight restaurant recognition.  This is also the 13th straight year that Carolina Crossroads has been awarded Four-Stars by the Forbes Travel Guide (formerly Mobil Travel Guide).

About Destination Hotels & Resorts Destination Hotels & Resorts is the country’s fourth largest hospitality management company with a portfolio of extraordinary resorts and hotels that span the nation, from exhilarating alpine adventures to stunning beachfronts to vibrant urban destinations. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013, Destination manages 40 independent, luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and golf clubs, each offering authentic, enriching experiences for the discerning traveler. The company’s award-winning collection features 113 unique restaurants, lounges and bars, 18 golf courses, 17 full-service spas and six IACC certified conference centers. Destination Hotels & Resorts properties are located in premier locales in metropolitan and resort markets including Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Maui, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Aspen, Vail, Lake Tahoe, Seattle, Denver and San Diego. Headquartered in Colorado, the privately owned company is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment, development and management firm Lowe Enterprises and the Lowe Hospitality Group.  For more information on Destination Hotels & Resorts, visit Follow us on Twitter: @Destination. Like us on Facebook: DestinationHotels.