Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Washington and Franklin Hall

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Institution Name: Randolph-Macon College
Original/Historic Place Name: Washington and Franklin Hall
Location on Campus: College Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1871-1872original construction Price, B. F.
1985-1987renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: brick
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
ca. 1871student union (housed two literary societies led by Jordan Wheat Lambert)
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (Franklin Room is used for college receptions)
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (history)

Significance: education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterRandolph-Macon College Buildings (1979)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Washington and Franklin Hall was the first brick building in the town of Ashland and set the standard for subsequent buildings' appearance (brick and stone trim). The building represents the importance of literary societies at southern universities even after the tradition had ended in the north, as well as the exuberance after the end of reconstruction in Virginia (1870).

The two story edifice is executed in stretcher-bond brick and covered by a hip roof. The main (south) entrance to the building is located on College Avenue and is comprised of paneled double doors framed by pilasters that support an arched over-door. The entrance frontispiece is executed in wood, originally painted in imitation of stone. The doorway is flanked by pilasters which terminate at the capitals in a corbeled brick belt course. The belt course runs the entire perimeter of the building and defines the first and second stories. Fenestration on the first story originally consisted of 4/4 hung sashes. The windows are topped by flat arches with hood molds, and the second-story windows have segmental arches with hood molds. All of the building's openings have been blocked by plywood. An arched cross gable projects from the attic story and contains the lettering "Washington-Franklin Hall" and the Virginia state seal. A modillion and dentil cornice lines the eaves on all elevations. The north elevation mirrors the south, with the exeption of the gable treatment. A round window with louvres replaces the state seal on the front gable. The treatment of the fenestration on the east and west elevations is similar to that on the north and south.

The building was renovated 1985-1987 and is currently in use as a classroom and office building for the Department of History.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Irby, Richard. History of Randolph-Macon College, Virginia. The Oldest Incorporated Methodist College in America. Richmond, VA: Whittel and Shepperson, general printers, 1898.

Scanlon, James E. Randolph-Macon College: A Southern History 1825-1967. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1983.

Virginia Landmarks Historic Commission. Randolph-Macon College Complex. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ Park Service, 1979.

Wilson, Richard Guy, et al. Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Government Offices

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Last update: November 2006