Houses That Line Campus Drive

Writer: 
January 31, 2007
Campus Drive House

Duke University Archives

As their architecture might suggest, the fourteen houses that line Campus Drive did not always serve as home to administrative departments. In fact, the residences were originally commissioned by the university during the 1930s to house faculty members and administrators. The construction of West Campus and the recruitment of additional faculty members had spurred a need for good-quality housing conveniently located.

At the suggestion of The Duke Endowment, the university established policies regarding new faculty housing on what was then Myrtle Drive. These included an annual rent of 8 percent of the total cost of the house, to be paid monthly; a clause that allowed the houses' original faculty owners to have a say in the size and architecture (the exceptions were four houses for administrators, built in the Gothic style to match West Campus); the provision that a faculty member could occupy his house as long as he taught at Duke, unless the university decided to make other arrangements; and the understanding that the tenant would pay all utilities.

The first twelve houses were completed in 1930 and 1931; the last two in 1937. Among those who lived in the houses in the early years were William H. Wannamaker, William Preston Few, Robert Lee Flowers, and Wallace Wade. By the late 1960s, most of the houses had been converted for administrative use. Today, thirteen are home to the offices of departments such as undergraduate admissions, the study-abroad program, and the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute. But one remains a private residence, that of Eleanore Jantz, the widow of Harold Jantz, a former visiting professor of Germanic languages and literature.

—Sims is an Archives Assistant.