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Buildings History: Martin Hall

Martin Hall has served many purposes during its time at Meredith. Opening in 1959, it served as the main building for the sciences, including biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as home economics and business. Today, it serves as the home to the human environmental sciences and foreign languages departments. 

History

Built to house the Science, Home Economic, and Business Departments – which had languished in the 1926 “temporary” frame classrooms - Hunter Hall was named after Dr. J. Rufus Hunter, a Raleigh chemist who served on Meredith's Board of Trustees. Dr. Hunter left his entire estate to Meredith, the largest gift from an individual the school had received. Dedication of the building took place during the annual Founder's Day observance on October 30th, 1959.

The 2004 addition of the Science and Math Building (SMB) to the campus allowed the relocation of these disciplines to the updated facilities and Hunter became home to the Departments of Foreign Language and Home Environmental Sciences.

Shortly afterwards, on September 30, 2004, Hunter Hall was renamed Martin Hall, in honor of  Margaret Craig Martin, who had a long relationship with Meredith College as student, instructor, and trustee. Along with the new name came renovations for an updated interior which now included a fashion studio, two interior design studios, a child development laboratory and a CAD ("computer aided design') studio. The building's new features were described at it's rededication as "learning spaces that encourage opportunities for collaboration, making connections and meeting challenges."

In 2020-2021, the Nutrition Lab underwent major renovations. The space was demolished and the areas was expanded into an adjacent hallway, for a more open feeling between the classroom and the kitchen. The new and improved lab will aid students acquiring hands-on experience in nutrition education, the food industry, sales, food service management, public policy or health fields. The Nifong Nutrition Laboratory was built according to health department standards necessary to replicate a commercial food service environment. the lab contains a 4-burner induction range, a food warmer, countertop flat grill, a countertop charbroiler, a full-sized hood system, a double convection oven, a Combi-Oven, 6 sinks, 2 dishwashers, 3 6-burner gas ranges, a fryer, 4 wheeled work tables, a large area fro dry storage and a walkin freezer and refrigerator. 

Images

April 1958 groundbreaking for Hunter Hall with U.S. REpresentative Charles B. Deane and Meredith College President Carlyle Campbell.

April 1958 groundbreaking for Hunter Hall

Charles B. Deane, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the N.C. 8th District and Meredith College President Carlyle Campbell man the shovels for the ceremony. 

Dr. Joseph Rufus Hunter (1865-1951)

Dr. Joseph Rufus Hunter (1865-1951)

Dr. Hunter was a trustee from 1923-1951 and was President of the Board from 1929-1941. Dr. Hunter and his wife left the bulk of their estate to Meredith college, the largest private individual gift to date. 

Hunter Hall under construction (1958-59)

Hunter Hall under construction, 1958-1959

Hunter Hall under construction

Under construction

William Henley Deitrick was the architect for the new hall.

Hunter Hall in 1959

Newly opened Hunter Hall in 1959

Hunter Hall was dedicated on Founder's Day, October 30, 1959. Appropriately enough for this building dedicated to the sciences, the address by Paul Gross of Duke University was "Science in the Space Age." 

Students moving home economics equipment into Hunter Hall

'Moving Day' for home economics equipment

"Home economics students, loaded with pots and pans, china and what-not" chip in to move equipment from the old classroom into the new building. 

Students using the new laboratories in Hunter Hall, 1959.

Students using the new laboratories in Hunter Hall, 1959.

Professor Eads and students admire their new laboratory equipment, June 1959

Professor Eads and students admire their new laboratory equipment, June 1959

Desks lined up in new classroom

Hunter Hall classroom

Hunter Hall also housed the Business and Economics Departments until the opening of Harris Hall in 1982. 

View of the new Hunter Hall from Ledford hall

A view of Hunter Hall across from Ledford Hall prior to the building of Carlyle Campbell Library. 

Student walking on sidewalk from Hunter Hall
Margaret Craig (Martin), Class of 1930

Margaret Craig (Martin), Class of 1930


On September 30, 2004, Hunter Hall was renamed Martin Hall, after Margaret C. Martin, who had had a long relationship with Meredith College as a student, instructor, administrator and trustee. After serving as her classes’ president and being voted “Miss Meredith,” she graduated in 1930. She married Zeno Martin, the school's business manager/treasurer from 1943-53; she taught Latin and English at both Meredith and NCSU from 1953-62 and was a trustee from 1963-64, resigning that post to become the director of Alumnae Affairs from 1964-1970. Mrs. Martin then returned to the Board of Trustees in 1974.

Margaret Martin '30 and President Maureen Hartford at the renaming dedication ceremony on September 30th, 2004.

Margaret Martin '30 and President Maureen Hartford at the renaming dedication ceremony on September 30th, 2004.

Entance to Martin Hall in 2017

Entrance to Martin Hall, 2017.

Martin Hall 2017

Side view of Martin Hall, 2017.

Donated by Roy Nifong in memory of his wife, Grace, the Nifong Nutrition Laboratory was installed with state-of-the-art equipment for a commercial grade kitchen. This equipment included a 4-burner induction range, a countertop flat grill, a countertop cha