Lawson House, c.1880

604 E. Franklin Street


The Lawson Home provides one of the finest examples of the Shingle Bungalow Style in Chapel Hill. Francis Kingsley Ball, UNC professor of Greek Language, built the Lawson House around 1880. In 1896, Ball gave the house to the University who subsequently leased it back to him for fifty years. In June 1907 when F.K. Ball left the property, Dr. Robert Baker Lawson bought the house from the University. Lawson, hired by the University as an assistant professor of Anatomy in the medical school, also became UNC’s new athletic director. A former major league pitcher for the Boston Beaneaters in 1901 and the Baltimore Orioles in 1902, Lawson used his passion for athletics in coaching. At UNC, Lawson coached baseball, football, and track over his 43-year career at the University. Lawson’s daughter, Estelle Lawson Page, was an amateur golfer who won the 1937 US Womens’ Amateur Championship as well as seven North and South Women’s Amateur Golf Championships. In 1963, Estelle Lawson became one of the first women inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.