All of the construction on Hillsborough Street may be turning the area into an unfamiliar place. However, while Hillsborough Street has been consistent in its importance to North Carolina State University and its neighborhood, it has gone through much change since it was lain in 1792.
Here are some images from the Rare and Unique Digital Collections featuring historic Hillsborough Street, including our collection’s oldest image taken in 1884, three years before the land grant college that would become NC State was chartered.
The location has changed greatly in the last 133 years. For instance the street once had trolley tracks for traveling towards downtown Raleigh. When the trolley was discontinued, the tracks were paved over, only to be uncovered during construction in 2010.
From 1873-1925, the North Carolina State Fair took place across the other side of Hillsborough Street from campus, and the fair grounds today are located alongside the street, though now several miles west.
Hillsborough Street has also been where NC State has held Homecoming Parades.
During the Vietnam Era, NC State students would take Hillsborough Street to march from campus to the State Capitol building.
While Hillsborough Street has changed so much, you can still find some familiarity in these historical images.
What a history of a single street! If you enjoyed these images and want to learn more about the Special Collections Research Center and our digitized materials, please visit the Rare and Unique Digital Collections for access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting the history of NC State and other topics.
“Hillsborough St. Timeline of History.” History | Hillsborough St Project. 2016. Accessed April 26, 2017.https://hillsboroughst.raleighnc.gov/content/history.
“Student Life Timeline.” Historical State Timelines. Accessed April 26, 2017. https://historicalstate.lib.ncsu.edu/timelines/student-life.
Hill, Michael. “North Carolina Exposition of 1884.” North Carolina Exposition of 1884 | NCpedia. 2006. Accessed April 26, 2017.http://www.ncpedia.org/north-carolina-exposition-1884.
Mims, Bryan. “When Streetcars Ruled the Roads of North Carolina.” Our State Magazine. October 5, 2015. Accessed April 26, 2017. https://www.ourstate.com/history-of-north-carolina-streetcars/.