SAMUEL FIELDS PHILLIPS LAW OFFICE
1843, 1960s, 1983
This unique building stands at the northeast corner of East Franklin and Hillsborough streets. The one-story, side-gabled building is four bays wide and single-pile with pedimented gables, a stuccoed brick exterior, and stucco-covered buttresses at the corners. It has six-over-six, wood-sash windows and an interior stuccoed chimney. Centered on the façade are two two-panel wood doors, which are sheltered by a front-gabled porch supported by stucco-covered, L-shaped, full-height piers with a stepped, parapet concealing the gable. A gabled rear addition was added after 1949 with details matching the main building. The addition is inset slightly from the main building and is three bays deep with pilasters separating the bays. It has six-over-six windows on the left (west) and rear (north) elevations and paired one-light French doors on the right (east) elevation, all in arched surrounds. A low stone wall extends across the front and left sides of the property.
The building was erected in the 1843 by Samuel Field Phillips to serve as a law office. In 1847 Phillips used the structure as a preparatory school for boys. It also was used by William Horn Battle for classes of the first law school of the university. It was the first law office in Chapel Hill and is particularly notable for having been shared by two of the town’s most distinguished early residents, Samuel Phillips and William Battle. In recent years it has been much sought after as a residence by students and faculty alike.
In the 2015 survey, this was deemed a Contributing Building.
SOURCE: Heather Wagner Slane, National Register of Historic Places Nomination: Chapel Hill Historic District Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation, Orange County, OR1750 (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, 2015), courtesy of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office.