Durham County

How do Duke, UNC campuses rank among the nation’s most beautiful?

A statue of James Buchanan (Buck) Duke greets visitors to West Campus at Duke University. Duke Chapel is pictured at rear.
A statue of James Buchanan (Buck) Duke greets visitors to West Campus at Duke University. Duke Chapel is pictured at rear.

Great basketball and beautiful college campuses must go together.

Condé Nast Traveler released its list of the 25 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America on Thursday and three of the four Big Four schools made it — Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest.

Though Condé Nast said its list was compiled in no particular order, Wake Forest led the way, coming in at No. 5. Duke was 10th, while UNC made the list at No. 17. Don’t hold it against N.C. State for not making it. The list was filled with campuses known for their stonework buildings, not their bricks.

“To achieve ‘higher learning’ requires a bit of inspiration,” Condé Nast said. “Consider the looming spires and manicured quads of Oxford and Cambridge. In the U.S., some of America’s oldest (and prettiest) colleges, such as Princeton and Yale, employ the Collegiate Gothic look, while other universities have more contemporary architectural styles that bring a bit of West Coast innovation — think Stanford’s Mission Revival and Pepperdine’s Mediterranean Revival.”

Condé Nast said Duke Chapel was the most impressive building on the 8,801-acre campus filled with gothic buildings. They also pointed to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens and Duke Forest as things of beauty.

“The scenery isn’t just about the buildings,” Condé Nast said.

UNC was lauded for its Coker Arboretum as well as for having plants and flowers all over campus. Conde Nast also pointed out the Morehead–Patterson Bell Tower as a gem on campus.

Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania garnered the top spot.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews

  Comments