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The Tar Heel Thursday, July 14, 198831
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Often described as one of the most beautiful
buildings on campus, the Playmakers Theatre
was originally built in 1851 as a combination
library and ballroom.
Among this Corinthian building's features
is the substitution of the traditional acanthus
leaves for wheat and Indian corn to better
reflect the intense Americanism of the day.
A legend has surrounded the building ever
since an incident that was supposed to have
happened while it was still a library. Accord
ing to legend, horses of the Michigan 9th
Company were stabled there following the
Civil War. Since then, Michigan horses have
been known for their intelligence and Carolina
students for their good sense.
The theater was named a National Historic
Landmark in 1974.
Tar Heelfile photo
Located between the Old Well and East
Franklin Street at the University's north
entrance is a well-known Civil War monument
nicknamed Silent Sam.
Sam was erected in 1913 by the N.C.
Division of the United Daughters of the
Confederacy to memorialize the 321 alumni
of the University who died in the Civil War,
as well as the 1,062 who entered the Con
federate Army. Canadian sculptor John
Wilson created him for $7,500, using Harold
Langlois of Boston as a model.
The legend surrounding Sam says his gun
is supposed to fire every time a virgin walks
by. Sam's gun, however, has been silent for
as long as anyone can remember.
On the base of the monument, a young
woman touches the shoulder of a young
gentleman to call him from letters to arms.
In the spring of 1986, Sam temporarily
deserted his post. He was taken to Cincinnati,
Ohio, for an $8,200 restoration to remove the
effects of the weather and the tannic acid from
trees and car exhaust from Franklin Street.
His original bronze color had turned to green.
But now Sam's back and better than
ever. His restorers say hell stay a bright
coppery color for several years.
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Tar Heel file photo