Opened in 1953, Dorton Arena in Raleigh is one of North Carolina's most ambitious and historically significant pieces of architecture. When construction was completed in 1952, it won First Honor Award of the American Institute of Architects and the Gold Medal in Engineering of the Architectural League of New York. In 1972, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 2002 it was dedicated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The designer was Matthew Nowicki, who was killed in a 1950 plane crash before construction began. It was the first permanent building in the world to support its roof by suspended steel cables.