Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

005-0219 Sweet Briar College Historic District

Sweet Briar College Historic District
Photo credit: Calder Loth/DHR, 2001

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 01/15/1995

NRHP Listing Date 03/30/1995

NRHP Reference Number 95000240

Founded in 1901 through the bequest of Indiana Fletcher Williams, on a large campus just south of Amherst in Amherst County, this nationally renowned liberal arts college for women boasts a distinguished complex of buildings by Ralph Adams Cram, one of America’s foremost architects. During his long career Cram produced a remarkable body of work, all of impeccable quality. His collegiate commissions include West Point Chapel, Princeton Chapel, and the campuses of Rice Institute and the University of Richmond. Appointed Sweet Briar’s architect in 1901, Cram departed from his usual Gothic Revival scheme and produced an elegant Georgian-style layout realized in part between 1902 and 1942. In establishing the school’s image, Cram was influenced by Virginia’s Georgian architecture. He stated: “history, tradition, and architectural style predetermined the course to follow.” Richmond landscape architect Charles Gillette provided the park-like setting for Cram’s scheme. The Sweet Briar College Historic District consists of twenty-two contributing buildings, including the individually listed Sweet Briar House, which houses the college’s president.

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: August 24, 2021