Carroll Fine Arts Building

Carroll Hall

(The following was extracted from "Toward the Light" by Dr. C. G. Hopper Jr.)

     His (James Alexander Carroll's) greatest gift to Limestone College was the Carroll Hall. Ground was broken on 6 May 1924 for the Carroll School of Fine Arts and the Hamrick Hall of Science, a gift of Dr. W.C. Hamrick.18 A contract had been awarded to J. G. Heslep of Columbia and materials were being palced on the grounds during the morning before the noon time ground breaking ceremony. 19 

     The formal excersize to launch the construction of the building was celebrated in the presence of members of the faculty, the student body, and a few officials and citizens of Gaffney. Despite the fact that he had been recently discharded from a hospital, Carroll, who was seventy-five years old, picked up a shovel, which had been placed there for the purpose, and lifted the first dirt from the southwestern side of the area marked off for the site of the building which would carry his name. As he did so, the college girls broke into song, singing a song that was a special one to "Uncle Jimmie," a name the girls had adopted to address Mr. Carroll.

     Following the rendition of the song, the assembly moved to the site of the Hamrick Hall of Science. After being pressed to make a speech, Dr. W. C. Hamrick, who was chairmen of the Board of Trustees of the college as well as chairman of the board's building committee, spoke a few words in which he said having been reared on a farm he wass familiar with the use of the tool he was about to demonstrate. Suiting the action to his words, Dr. Hamrick spat on his hands, rubbed the palms together, seized the handle of the shovel and heaved a full load of dirt. A song was sung to Dr. Hamrick by the college girls and the exercises closed with the singing of "Limestone, Cherished Limestone."20

     In his attenpt to keep as much of the cost of the construction in local hands, Carroll, with Hamrick encouraged Heslep to use as much loval labor and loval materials as possible. Heslep following the suggestion used face brick produced in Kingsport, Tennessee, for the exterior of the buildings, while McCraw brick, manufactured by the McCraw Brick Company of Gaffney, was used for the common fill. The wood used in the construction was purchased locally and the major part of the labor force came from the local population.21

     On 7 November1924, at noon, an hour selected with a view of accommodating the friends of the college, especially the businessmen of Gaffney, and thus permitting a larger attendance, a deeply interested assemblage of college students, teachers, members of the faculty, former students and friends of the institution gathered to witness the impressive ceremonies of laying the cornerstones of teh Carroll School of Fine Arts and the Hamrick Hall of Science. Since the two classical buildings were lovated nest to each other and time was of the essence, a jount ceremony was held. Dr. R. C. Granberry, president of the college, presided. The principal address was delivered by Dr. Arch C. Cree, M.A., Ph.D., L.L.D., secretary and treasurer of the Georgia Baptist Convention and Carroll's son-in-law. He had served as a substitute member of the building committee that let the contract for the erection of the new structures and was the former pastor of the First Baptist Church. In addition short talks were made by Dr. Granberry; Miss Cornelia Brice, president of the student body; and Miss Eunice Temple Ford, dean of College. During the musical entertainment, a song composed by Miss Lucia Porcher, a member of the class of 1927, titled Oh, Radiant Limestone, paying tribute to James Alexander Carroll, Dr. W.C.Hamrick, and Dr. Granberry, was sung with feeling by the student body.

     Mr. Carroll and Dr. Hamrick, both of whom were members of the Board of Trustees, the latter being the chairmen, were present for the ceremony. During the talk by Miss Ford, three college girls presented bouguets of beautiful flowers to Mr. Carroll, Dr. Hamrick, and Dr. Granberry.

     Following the close of Miss Ford's remarks, she called Miss Volina Cline, granddaughter of Dr. Hamrick, and Miss Agnes Cree, granddaughter of Mr. Carroll, to carry the copper record boxes to the respective buildings. Miss Ford sealed the boxes into the cornerstones of both buildings would be ready for use immediately after the Christmas holidays. 23

     In 1993 Carroll School of Fine Arts was renovated with a $250,000 grant from the Timken Foundation and furnishings for the building were aquired through a $20.000 grant form the Milliken Foundation and $25.000 contributed by Limestone alumni and friends. The most notable features of the Carroll remodeling were the restoration of the original skylight and a central atrium extending from the first floor to the skylight, which had been enclosed and converted into a lecture room with one hundred arm-chair seats in the summer of 1938. 25

     On 5 October 1993, W.J. (Jack) Timken, president of the Timken Foundation, spoke on behalf of his company at the ribbon ceremony of the newlyrenovated hall. In addition, he delivered from the Timken Foundation a check of $250,000, another quarter of the million dollars grantede for the purpose of remodeling four of the buildings on the campus. Limestone College President Dr. Walt Griffin responded: "Again we are indebted to the generosity of the Timken Foundation. Proboably no single gift from any source has ever had such a profound effect on so many areas of campus life as the Timken grand has had at Limestone."

References as listed in Dr. Hopper's book:

18. The Gaffney Ledger, May 8, 1924.
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid.
21. Ibid.
22. The Gaffney Ledger, November 1, 1924; November 8, 1924.
23. Ibid.
24. The Gaffney Ledger, March 12, 1929.
25. The Gaffney Ledger, September 13, 1938.
26. News release, Office of the President, October 1, 1993; The Spartanburg Herald-Journal, October 6, 1993.