Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Administration Building

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Institution Name: Roanoke College
Original/Historic Place Name: Main Building
Location on Campus: Front Quad
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1848original construction Deyerle Brothers
1852east wing Unknown
1854west wing Unknown
1903third story added, front and back porches Unknown
1920addition of office at west end of building Unknown
ca. 1985refurbishment of exterior; replacement of slate roof Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: brick
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
ca. 1848president's house
ca. 1848residence hall
ca. 1848library
ca. 1848faculty offices
ca. 1848classrooms
ca. 1848chapel
ca. 1848-present (2007)administration (Office of the President; Dean of the College)

Significance: architecture, education, landscape
Landmark designation:
National RegisterMain Campus Complex, Roanoke College (1973)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The original structure of the Administration Building (1848) consisted of the two-story square central section. An east wing appeared in 1852 and the matching west wing two years later. In 1903, the College added a complete third floor and new porches, front and back.

The building has served virtually every purpose for the College--as classrooms, chapel, dorm, library, gymnasium, and as the president's home and offices. With the 1903 addition, biology and chemistry labs occupied the third floor until well into the twentieth century. In the mid-1980s, the exterior was fully refurbished and the slate roof was replaced.

The building remains today the true centerpiece and most recognizable symbol of Roanoke College, particularly as an architectural focal point of the vista from the north end of College Street. It is set within a picturesque, park-like setting not uncommon in late 19th century landscape design.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Eisenberg, William E. The First Hundred Years, Roanoke College, 1842-1942. Salem, VA: Trustees of Roanoke College, 1942.

Miller, Mark F. Dear Old Roanoke, A Sesquicentennial Portrait, 1842-1992. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1992.

Traditions: Roanoke College Yesterday and Today. Salem, VA: Roanoke College, 1981.

Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Main Campus Complex, Roanoke College. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ Park Service, 1973.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections, Unknown
—details: Archives, Roanoke College.
Government Offices

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