Old Main

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NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


Tracing its origins to 1827 and chartered in 1844 as the Virginia Female Institute, Stuart Hall is the oldest preparatory school for girls in the state. Its central building, “Old Main,” was designed and built by Edwin Taylor and completed in 1846. The Greek Revival structure, dominated by a strong portico of Doric piers, is one of the earliest instances of a building erected specifically for the education of women. The school became affiliated with the Episcopal church in 1843. From 1880 to 1898 it gained stature under the direction of its principal, Flora Stuart, widow of Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, and was renamed in her honor in 1907. The Stuart Hall  school’s physical plant has been greatly expanded since 1846, but Old Main remains the visual symbol of this venerable institution. Old Main is located within the city of Staunton’s Newtown Historic District.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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

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