Of course, there are examples of round edifices that have stood the
test of time. The Guggenheim in New York City, designed by Frank
Lloyd Wright, is one. Buckminster Fuller designed a round house in the
1940s. (Both architects visited NC State at various times.) In Holly wood,
the round Capitol Records Tower stands 13 stories high. And there’s
the Royal Albert Hall in London. Raleigh even has a round hotel, now
a Holiday Inn, near downtown. What about the Roman Coliseum?
Technically, it’s an oval. Not even in the same category with Harrelson.
John W. Harrelson ’09, opposite page, was the first alumnus
to serve as chief executive of NC State. He never saw his namesake building; he died of a stroke as he prepared to speak
at the dedication of the new wing of D.H. Hill Library. The
lounge at the top floor had a space-age feel. Opposite, a
cross section of the building.
The ramp leading to the top floor lounge
shows the distinctive ceiling.