Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

117-0022 Washington and Lee University Historic District

Washington and Lee University Historic District
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 10/06/1970

NRHP Listing Date 11/11/1971

NHL Listing Date 12/18/1970

NRHP Reference Number 71001047

The historic heart of Washington and Lee University, located in the Lexington Historic District, is an architecturally harmonious complex of buildings forming one of the nation’s most dignified and beautiful campuses. The central element, the Colonnade, gives the impression of a single design concept. It is, in reality, the product of a building program extending over 150 years. The first buildings, erected in 1803 for what was then Washington College, have disappeared. The classical theme of the complex was established with the oldest existing building, the temple-form Washington Hall of 1824. Its builder architects, John Jordan and Samuel Darst, here transformed the prevailing Roman Revival style into a sturdy regional idiom. Washington Hall was flanked by Payne Hall in 1831 and by Robinson Hall in 1843. Two pairs of porticoed faculty residences were also added to the complex. Stylistically contrasting elements are the distinctive President’s House of 1868 and the Lee Chapel of 1866-67.

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

Updated: March 1, 2021