The most identifiable element in the architecture of Duke's West Campus is the local stone used for the original Gothic, and many of the new, campus buildings. Quarried from nearby Hillsborough, NC, the stone displays a rich palette of blues, grays, tans and rust colors that give the buildings a richness and warmth that otherwise would have been difficult to achieve. The stone has become increasingly expensive (costing the University over $400 per ton just to provide the material to masons) and has in recent years been used more sparingly in buildings in combination with the standard "Duke brick" blend, and effectively as a landscape element to provide consistency across West Campus.
While the joint work remains fairly consistent on Duke stone building walls, site walls display much more variety in how they are laid and capped, which adds interest while at the same establishing a consistent character across campus.
To learn more about the history of Duke stone visit the University Archives.