Washington Hall

From Special Collections Research Center Wiki
Revision as of 21:21, 11 August 2007 by Acschi (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Washington Hall is located along the south side of the Sunken Garden between Ewell Hall and McGlothlin-Street Hall. It was constructed in 1928 as an academic building, but was part of a larger developmental plan that called for the expansion of the library, relocation of the Taliaferro building, and the creation of faculty housing on Richmond Road. Washington Hall honors George Washington, in recognition of his ties to William and Mary, where he received his surveyor's license in 1749 and served as the first American Chancellor from 1788-1799.

Washington Hall was constructed as a "companion" to Rogers Hall (present-day Tyler Hall), which stands directly opposite across the Sunken Garden. Washington Hall was constructed at a cost of $200,000 and included a biology lab on the first floor, liberal-arts classrooms on the second and third floors. In addition to containing large lecture halls (between 100 - 280 students) on each floor, the building also housed the offices of the deans and registrar. Charles M. Robinson designed the building and J.W. Davis of Newport News was awarded the contract. Construction was completed in time for spring classes in 1929.

In 1960, Washington Hall received a $59,000 renovation which added a modern language lab to its third floor. In order to improve student language proficiency, fifty individual soundproof booths with tape recorders were built.

By 1985, Washington Hall was showing its age. No updates had been made to the original electrical wiring, plumbing, and climate control system. The college petitioned the Virginia General Assembly for funding for renovations, which were estimated at $2.5 million.

The funding was finally received in 1989 and $3.5 million in renovations began which added a new heating and cooling system, made the building handicapped accessible, and added a new language lab on the first floor, complete with computers and the latest audio technology. Asbestos was removed from Washington and all other campus buildings the following year.

Washington Hall currently houses the Modern Languages Department.