The 1980s at WFUBMC

Buildings Completed:
Watlington Hall (1980) - Formerly known as the Focus Building
MRI Building (1987)
Richard Janeway Clinical Sciences Building (1989)
North Tower (1989)
1980s Aerial Photographs
Buildings Timeline
Watlington Hall (1980)


Those looking for Old Main, the original Baptist Hospital building, will have no luck, as Watlington Hall sits on top of the site that once was home to the historic building.

Watlington Hall, completed in 1980, was known as the Focus Building during its construction and shortly after its completion.  The Focus Building was dedicated as Watlington Hall in 1981 in honor of John F. Watlington, Jr.

At six stories and 178,000 square feet of space, Watlington Hall, at the time of its opening, provided space for academic and administrative offices, including the executive offices of the Medical Center.

Watlington Hall is architecturally unique compared to the other buildings at the Medical Center.  It is easily noticeable from Hawthorne Road, as the black glass reflects everything around it, including Davis Chapel as seen in this photograph.



John F. Watlington, Jr.

John F. Watlington, Jr. was a banker and a civic leader.  He was born in Reidsville, NC on March 23, 1911 and passed away May 31, 1999 in Winston-Salem.  Mr. Watlington worked at Wachovia Bank from 1933-1982, with 20 of those years serving as chief executive of Wachovia.  In 1963 Mr. Watlington joined the Board of Visitors at Bowman Gray.  Under his leadership, the school was able to raise over $75 million, saving the school from financial ruin and enabling new construction at the Medical Center.

In this photograph, John F. Watlington (right) is standing outside of the building that bears his name.  On the left is Leon Rice, Jr., a former Chairman of the Medical Center Board.

MRI Building (1987)


Across the street from the hub of the medical center sits the 72,419 square foot MRI Building.  It is located on Medical Center Boulevard and was built in 1987 to house the magnetic resonance imaging systems (MRI), teleconferencing facilities, and other office space.

In 1990 the MRI Building was expanded in order to accommodate the development of a Positron Emission Tomography Center.

Richard Janeway Clinical Sciences Building (1989)


In 1989 construction was completed on the Clinical Sciences Building, the Medical Center’s new main entrance.  The eleven story, 308,000 square-foot building provided space for the centralization of most of the center’s outpatient clinical functions.  After the Clinical Sciences Building opened, some services included in it were the Eye Center, the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the outpatient surgical center.

The Clinical Sciences Building is connected to both Reynolds Tower and North Tower.

In 1998 the building was dedicated to Richard Janeway, and became known as the Richard Janeway Clinical Sciences Building.


Richard Janeway

Dr. Richard Janeway was affiliated with Wake Forest University for more than thirty years.  During his time here, Dr. Janeway played a significant role in the expansion of the Medical Center.

In 1966 Dr. Janeway became a faculty member at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, where he was already a NIH trainee since 1963.  By 1971 he was a professor in neurology.  Also in 1971 Dr. Janeway became dean of the medical school, a position he held until 1994.  In 1983 when Dr. Manson Meads retired, Dr. Janeway took on the role of vice president for health affairs, and in 1990 he was promoted to executive vice president for health affairs.  In 1997 Dr. Janeway retired from his position at Wake Forest University, yet he maintains his connection to the school as University Professor of Medicine and Management.

In addition to his distinguished career at Wake Forest, Dr. Janeway was also prominent on the national level, as he was chairman of the Association of American Medical Colleges from 1984 to 1985.  This is the highest office possible in academic medicine.

North Tower (1989)


North Tower, as completed, was a fifteen story inpatient facility covering 401,000 square feet of space.  It contained 305 beds, bringing the hospital's total number of beds to 806 by 1989.

A new operating room area moved into the entire first floor of North Tower.  Two adult intensive care units moved into the fourth and fifth floors.  Both the coronary care unit and psychiatric services were expanded as well.

Brenner Children's Hospital moved into two floors of North Tower.  With the new move, Brenner's bed total rose to 138.  In 2002 Brenner Children's Hospital relocated to Ardmore Tower West.


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