Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

020-5247 Vawter Hall and Old President's House

Vawter Hall and Old President's House
Photo credit: Calder Loth, 2021

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 02/19/1980

NRHP Listing Date 05/07/1980

NRHP Reference 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, in the southern Chesterfield County town of Ettrick, 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 nearby Petersburg, who likely also designed the Old President’s House. In 2021, Vawter Hall was renamed Lula Johnson Hall by VSU.


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


Updated: August 9, 2021