Taliaferro Building

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The Taliaferro Building was located on Jamestown Road across the street from the Brafferton. Plans for its construction were accepted by the Board of Visitors in 1893 and the building was named in honor of General William B. Taliaferro in recognition of his service to the College.

The building was constructed between 1893 and 1894 by E.W. Johnson of Newport News and Carpenter and Peebles of Norfolk as the architects. The rooms of the second floor of the building were converted into suites of two rooms by means of partition doors. An Alumni Banquet was held in the new Taliaferro Building on June 26, 1894.

The College of William and Mary received $5,300 from the Virginia legislature for improvement on the Taliaferro Building. Running water was installed in each room and a bathroom was built in the basement. The building was then used as a freshman dormitory.

The building was once again renovated and used for administrative offices and the Music Department in 1932. It also housed offices of the deans, the registrar, the treasurer, and the Flat Hat. These administrative offices moved to Marshall-Wythe Hall (now known as James Blair Hall) in 1935 while the Music Department and student publications remained in the Taliaferro Building.

The Taliaferro Building underwent extensive renovations between 1936 and 1937, this time with plans to become the Fine Arts Building. The first floor was used for sculpture and stage design. The second floor housed a library, a print room, offices and a theatre. The third floor had a painting studip with a skylight practically forming the entire roof. The Fine Arts Building was designed by Leslie Cheek, Jr. the Department Chairman at the time. A two-story fountain, running up and winding around a stairwell, backed by modeled releives, and entitled "Art is Long, Life is Short," was designed by Theodore Rust, a Fine Arts instructor. The fountain was enclosed in glass and water ran from the top through various levels, ending in a fish pool on the first floor.

The Taliaferro Building was torn down in 1967.


  • University Archives Buildings File (2007). Taliaferro Building. Earl Gregg Swem Library, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia