Architect: Office of Horace Trumbauer
Joseph Gill Brown (1854-1927) was graduated from Trinity College in 1875. In 1873, Brown became connected with the Citizens National Bank of Raleigh. He rose within the bank, becoming the president in 1894. Brown joined the Board of Trustees of Trinity College in 1892, and was elected Chairman in 1917, a position which he held until his death. He held a great number of positions during his long career. He was, among other things, a banker, city treasurer for Raleigh, railroad president, and insurance magnate. A Methodist, his heavy involvement with Trinity College was motivated by his devout belief in both church and education.
Brown Residence Hall was completed in the fall of 1926. Alspaugh, Bassett, Brown, Giles, Pegram, and Wilson residence halls were all built in a two year period between the fall of 1926 and the fall of 1928, and are all minor variations on the same design. Brown's distinguishing feature was the College Store. The building was known as Dormitory No. 5 until 1930, when it was named after Joseph Gill Brown.