Jefferson Hall

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Jefferson Hall is located alongside Jamestown Road on Old Campus. It measures 200 feet long by 41 feet wide and it currently functions as a co-ed dormitory for undergraduate upperclassmen. It was named for Thomas Jefferson, class of 1762, LL.D. 1783.

Jefferson Hall undated

Constructed: 1920-1921

Opened: 1921

Renovated: 1935, 1949, 1976-1977

Named for: College Alumnus Thomas Jefferson

map it for me

In 1920, the College of William and Mary hired an architect for a proposed girls' dormitory, costing $183,501 to construct. The dormitory opened in September 1921. The basement contained a gymnasium with a 45,000 gallon swimming pool. The first-floor consisted of parlors and apartments for the director of women and for female teachers. The second and third floor had dormitory rooms for 125 girls.

The gymnasium was used for functions such as dances and basketball games, and was available to both men and women from 1922 to 1925.

The iron gates from the Capitol Building in Richmond, erected in front of Jefferson Hall facing Jamestown Road, were given by the D.A.R. as a memorial to Kate Waller Barrett and were dedicated on April 30, 1926.

A women's special dining hall was constructed in the dormitory in 1935 but was reconverted to student rooms in the summer of 1949. The first black co-eds in residence at the College of William and Mary lived in the basement of Jefferson Hall in 1965. Jefferson Hall underwent renovation from 1976 to 1977 and wood framing was put in the west end over the swimming pool area to replace the framing erected in 1965 to support new rooms in the basement.

Jefferson Hall was destroyed by fire on January 20, 1983, but the outer walls remained standing.

Jefferson Hall Fire

Gutted by fire: 1983

Reconstructed: 1984-1985

Reconstruction of the building was turned over to the Buildings and Grounds Department in October 1984. Buildings and Grounds planned to reconstruct the building so that it would house 185 students in 88 double rooms and 10 single rooms. Lounges would be located at each wing with kitchens in the mid-section of each hall. Buildings and Grounds also planned to make the whole building air-conditioned, with a recreation room and a laundry room in the basement. The residence hall officially reopened on January 27, 1985, and was fully occupied by undergraduate students.

Photographs

  • 1922-WM Bulletin, March 1922, Summer Quarter, frontispiece
  • 1922—Colonial Echo, p. 13, 20, 21, 26 (south facade, parlor, gym,pool)
  • 1924-Colonial Echo, p. 18
  • 1926-Colonial Echo, p. 17, 18

References

  • University Archives Buildings File (2007), Jefferson Hall, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, The College of William and Mary.