Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


West Building

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Institution Name: Hollins University
Original/Historic Place Name: West Building
Location on Campus: 8040 Quadrangle Dr.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
pre- 1842original construction Unknown
1890addition of wings Huggins, H. H.
1900destruction and rebuilding of center section Unknown
1913removal of cupola and flagstaff Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: solid brick masonry
Walls: solid brick masonry
Roof: wood framing and planking (original); slate (possibly original); asphalt shingle (current)
ca. 1890classrooms (including halls for the Euzelian and Euepian Literary Societies)
ca. 1890infirmary (with doctor's office)
1890-present (2007)residence hall (originally with parlors and also housed some faculty)
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (Career Development Center, Office of Intercultural Programs, Office of First Year and Sophomore Programs)

Significance: architecture, culture, education, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterHollins College Quadrangle (1974)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

West Building stands on the site of the Botetourt Springs Hotel, a mineral springs resort hotel that in the early 1800s hosted dignitaries such as Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, John H. B. Latrobe, and General Lafayette. Used by the college since its founding in 1842, the "old house" was in poor condition by the late 19th century, and a total rebuilding was necessary. Lack of funding made it impossible to completely replace the building, so three-story wings were added to either end of the hotel in 1890. Ten years later, the center section was demolished and replaced by a three-story brick structure featuring a central pedimented pavilion with a projecting tetra-style portico set on a six-bay brick arcade. The portico on the second floor level was composed of paired Doric columns set on pedestals with an entablature and balustrade above. A gabled attic with a Palladian window was surmounted by a cupola and tall flagstaff, both removed in 1913.

The three-part building's left wing originally housed the infirmary, doctors office, and faculty living quarters; the right wing contained two large halls for the Euzelian and Euepian Literary Societies and a Senior Parlor; and the new center portion included a room for the YWCA Club on the ground floor and student living quarters on the upper levels. West Building now serves as a student dormitory and houses the Hollins Career Development Center, the Office of First Year and Sophomore Programs, and the Office of Intercultural Programs. All that remains of the original hotel is a door leading to the basement, some bricks in the lower level, a few small-paned windows in the rear, and a parlor fireplace mantel, now located in Main Building. The original Spring House over the limestone spring, built around 1800, still stands on the site; the square, one-room building is made of limestone blocks and hand-hewn roof timbers.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Hollins College Quadrangle. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1974.

Meredith, Molly. "An Historical and Architectural Guide to Hollins College." M. L. S. thesis, Hollins College, Roanoke, VA, 1997.

Niederer, Frances J. Hollins College: An Illustrated History. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1973.

Vickery, Dorothy Scovil. Hollins College, 1842-1942: An Historical Sketch. Roanoke, VA: Hollins College, 1942.

Whitwell, W. L., and Lee W Winborne. The Architectural Heritage of the Roanoke Valley. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1982.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
Government Offices

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