The Dorton Arena, located on the NC State Fairgrounds, was built to serve agriculture, industry commerce and the general welfare of NC. Earning an international reputation since its construction in 1951, it has been acclaimed as the most significant buildings of late times. Its unique structure affords excellent visibility of the entire floor area from all seats. The innovative design was created by the late Matthew Nowicki while head of the Department of Architecture of NC State University. The building is 300 feet in diameter, elliptic in shape, with central concrete floor 224 feet long and 127 feet wide at the widest point of the ellipse. There are approximately 5,110 permanent seats in the building. The metal asbestos roof, suspended on a network of cables which extend crosswise from the 90 foot parabolic arches, is saddle shaped. The 14 foot wide arches reach a maximum of height of 90 feet. They cross each other at about 26 feet above the ground, then extend into a tunnel below the surface at the east and west ends. The weight of the roof is equalized by tension cables, with fourteen two inch strands connecting each end of the parabola through the stress tunnel. The roof, so suspended, eliminates any necessity for structural steel supports and presents no obstructions of view from any seat. The exterior walls are of gray smoked glass. Support services, such as staging, tables, electrical hookups, etc., are available. Renovated in 2002.
Come visit us in Raleigh, North Carolina