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Messick Theatre Arts Building

Building History
Other Names: Drama Building Messick, 1950s
Date Built: 1927
Date Razed:
Cost of Construction: $57,364.86
Gross Square Feet: 35,038
Assignable Square Feet: 19,924
Architects: George Berryman, Raleigh, NC

Namesake:

  1. John Decatur Messick (1897-1993), a native North Carolinian and a Ph.D. Graduate of New York University was president of East Carolina from 1947 through 1959. During his term as president, the school's name was changed from East Carolina Teachers College to East Carolina College, sixteen new buildings were built, and enrollment increased from 1600 to 6500 students.
Francis Wahl
    2. Francis Wahl (1895-1984), a master's recipient from the Teachers College at Columbia University, was a supervising teacher (1925-1961) and the principal (1936-1961) of the Wahl-Coates Laboratory School of East Carolina.

    Dora Coates

    3. Dora E. Coates (1891-1974), was a native North Carolinian and a master's recipient from the Teachers College at Columbia University. She worked as a critic (or supervising) teacher from 1922 until 1929 here at ECU. Then she taught in the English Department until her retirement in 1951.

    History: Constructed in 1927, the building replaced the original Model School and has undergone several renovations, additions, and name changes. The sweeping arches of the building continue the spanish-mission style architecture of the early campus buildings. In 1959, the building was named Wahl-Coates in honor of Francis Wahl and Dora E. Coates who each served the school for 30 years. In 1972, Greenville and ECU in a cooperative venture opened Wahl-Coates Public School relieving ECU of actually providing elementary classroom space. The building now houses the Theatre Arts Department and the attached McGinnis Auditorium, built in 1951-52.

    Additions: 1929 - construction of second unit (19,360 gross square feet)

    1949 - addition of the training school wing

    1951 - theatre addition

    1971 - added a laboratory

    1972 - fire alarm replacement/repairs

    1979 - repaired roof

    1981 - new stage and auditorium renovations (new heating and air ventalation)

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