Polk Hall


Polk Hall
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Location: North Campus


Current Residents:

Agricultural Communications, Animal Science, Biochemistry

Built 1926; Renovated 1987 Renovated and Addition 2009

Sq. Footage 123,934

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History

Four-story Polk Hall can be recognized from the unusual cow skulls worked into renaissance ornaments above each door. Originally called the New Animal Industry Building, it is named after Leonidas LaFayette Polk (1837-1892) who organized and led the farmers of North Carolina to insist that a Land-Grant college be established under the federal Morrill Act of 1862. His efforts, combined with those of the Watauga Club, established NC State as a college that would not only train students in the mechanic arts but the agricultural as well.

Polk's reputation as an agrarian reformist was recognized throughout the nation, mainly through his organization of the Farmers' Alliance which later became the Peoples' Party. In 1886, Polk led 300 farmers from 40 counties in North Carolina into the N.C. Farmers' Association. They urged various types of government funding for an agricultural and mechanical college (NC State), including a one-dollar dog tax and the request for bricks and labor from the state penitentiary. In 1880, he became a corresponding editor of The Raleigh News and shortly afterward of the merged The News and Observer, but he later resigned to devote full time to agricultural interests and The Progressive Farmer which he founded.


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