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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

020-5247 Vawter Hall and Old President's House

Vawter Hall and Old President's House
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 02/19/1980

NRHP Listing Date 05/07/1980

NPS property number 80004180

The 1908 Vawter Hall and the Old President’s House of 1907 constitute the historic core of Virginia State University, the oldest state-supported college for African Americans in the United States. The school was chartered in 1882 as the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute following up on a pledge of the Readjuster party, led by William Mahone, to establish a state institute of higher learning for blacks. The first buildings have disappeared but Vawter Hall and the Old President’s House today symbolize the historic continuity of the institution. A dignified but austere brick structure, Vawter Hall is in the plain academic style of the era and originally housed administrative offices, a bookstore, cafeteria, and auditorium. The modified Queen Anne-style former president’s house now contains Virginia State University offices. Vawter Hall’s architect was Harrison Waite of Petersburg, who likely also designed the Old President’s House.


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

Updated February 15, 2019