Egyptian Building

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No purer expression of the mid-19th-century Egyptian Revival exists in America than this exotic work, a masterpiece by Philadelphia architect Thomas S. Stewart. Completed in 1846, the Egyptian Building originally housed Hampden-Sydney College’s medical department, which moved to Richmond in 1837. The department became an independent institution in 1854, and came under state control in 1860. In 1893, it became the Medical College of Virginia, now part of Virginia Commonwealth University. The institution has since been expanded into a vast complex, but the Egyptian Building, one of the oldest medical education buildings in the South, remains its architectural symbol. The style alluded to Egypt’s ancient medical tradition. Emphasizing the Egyptian theme is the cast-iron fence with its mummy-like posts, or herm figures, and its granite piers in the shape of obelisks.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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

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