The Southern Part of Heaven
The Town of Chapel Hill is a community where a diversity of ideas, people, and opportunities converge. It is a place where its citizens feel a vitality and pride that stem from Chapel Hill’s history, traditions, and unique characteristics. Nicknamed the “Southern Part of Heaven,” Chapel Hill was named after New Hope Chapel which stood upon a hill at the crossing of two primary roads (where The Carolina Inn currently stands). Home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the history of the Town is inextricably linked to the University. The Town was, in fact, created to serve the University. When the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees chose the area around New Hope Chapel as the site for the first State university in the U. S. in 1793, they also named a committee to lay out a town adjacent to the site.
The Chapel Hill population of 59,862 is diverse, consisting of University faculty and staff, students, business people, and retirees from all over the world, not to mention the native Chapel Hillians. The Town’s transformation from a small, relatively rural, turn-of-the-century village to a thriving, cosmopolitan University city has occurred since 1940, largely in concert with corresponding growth and change in the University. While recognizing that the Town has moved beyond its sole identity with the University, this association will always remain essential to the identity of Chapel Hill—not only as a prime employer, but as the focus of Town activities that range from learning and the free exchange of ideas, to the wide variety of athletic and cultural programs it sponsors.
Present day reminders of Chapel Hill’s history are cherished by its citizens and admired by its visitors; quiet winding streets, wooded home sites, stone walls, and small shops surrounding the University add to the charm, mystique, and “small-town” atmosphere. Much of the character of Chapel Hill is due to its great natural beauty including steep wooded slopes, small streams, and tree-covered vistas. The integration of these protected natural environments with the cosmopolitan and institutional setting of the University reflect the spirit of diversity and community which is Chapel Hill.
1 year ago