Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Botetourt Hall

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Institution Name: Hollins University
Original/Historic Place Name: New Dining Hall
Location on Campus: 8132 Forest of Arden Ln.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1890original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: solid brick masonry
Walls: solid brick masonry
Roof: wood framing, planking, and metal shingle (dome over octagonal structure); terne standing-seam metal, single-ply, and built-up (remaining roof)
1890-1970dining hall
1890-1970residence hall (ground floor apartments and offices)
1970-present (2007)other (art and dance studios, reading room and gallery, post office and most recently, human resources and campus safety offices)

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

Botetourt Hall, completed in 1890 as a new dining hall, is an octagonal structure that occupies the corner of the Front Quadrangle between Main and West Buildings. The ground floor of the brick building originally housed apartments and offices, and a Victorian gallery above faced both front and back campus. Topped by an octagonal dome, the structure featured a domed hall sixty feet in diameter as well as arched doors and windows. The building was called the New Dining Hall until the early 1930s, when it was renamed, presumably for Botetourt Springs, the Botetourt Springs Resort, or for Lord Botetourt, colonial governor of Virginia in the 18th century.

Botetourt Hall is an outstanding octagonal structure in Southwest Virginia, where few octagonal buildings appear. The building was scheduled for demolition in the early 1970s to make way for a new student center, but an outcry from members of the Hollins community saved this familiar campus landmark. The octagonal hall was renovated to house dance and art studios, the campus post office, and a reading room and gallery containing portraits of past Hollins presidents and members of the Cocke family. The preservation of Botetourt Hall maintained the integrity of the historic Front Quadrangle and preserved an architectural form that is rarely found in Virginia.

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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