Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

002-5056 Brooks Hall

Brooks Hall
Photo credit: DHR, 2012

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 02/15/1977

Providing a provocative contrast to the classicism of its neighboring Jeffersonian buildings, Brooks Hall is one of only two examples of late-19th-century eclecticism represented on the University of Virginia grounds. The building was donated in 1875 by Lewis Brooks, a Rochester, N. Y. philanthropist, and was among the earliest and best equipped natural history museums in the country. Its exhibits included fossils presented to Thomas Jefferson from the Lewis and Clark expedition. Completed in 1877, Brooks Hall was designed by John R. Thomas, also of Rochester, who combined motifs of various historic styles into a wholly original and airy composition. Symbolizing the building’s original function is the series of carved heads of wild animals on its keystones. Thomas’s original drawings for Brooks Hall are preserved in the university’s archives.  While the grounds of the University of Virginia are located within the boundaries of the City of Charlottesville, they are part of neighboring Albemarle County.
[VLR Listed Only]

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: April 18, 2022