Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Circle, The

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Institution Name: Lynchburg College
Original/Historic Place Name: Circle, The
Location on Campus: the very center of the main campus on an east-west axis
Date(s) of Construction:
1904original construction unknown
1976addition of Westover and Freer Memorial Gardens unknown
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1904-present (2006)outdoor space

Although there are currently thirty structures housed on a campus of over 214 acres, the older Lynchburg College buildings are constructed on the edge of the landscaped area known as "The Circle." Originally, it was a wooded park in front of the Westover Hotel that was the original college building (Westover Hall was demolished in 1970), although in 1904 many of the trees were cut to provide space for a baseball diamond.

With the completion of Hopwood Hall and Carnegie Hall in 1909, The Circle began to assume its present shape, actually more oval than circular. However it has been known as "The Circle" since the early years of the college. Many of the trees that border the area were planted on the instructions of Dr. and Mrs. Hopwood before 1910.
The Circle contains four areas designated by special names. The Dell is the gently sloping area between Hall Campus Center and Hundley Hall. The Westover and Freer Memorial Gardens were added in 1976 at the entrance of the College that fronts Vernon Street. The former commemorates the first college building, while the latter is a memorial to Dorothy S. Freer, Registrar from 1930 to 1935 and Secretary to the President from 1964 to 1969. Her husband, Dr. Ruskin S. Freer, was Professor of Biology from 1924 to 1964. The Blue Ridge Mountains form a "backdrop" for the campus, and Dr. Freer was the recognized authority on the flora and fauna of this area. The Fellowship Circle was dedicated in 1990 and marks the founding in 1935 of Virginia's first chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

The Circle is constantly being serviced and therefore always looks superb.


Chambers, S. Allen. Lynchburg, An Architectural History. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1982.

"Lynchburg College, A Beacon of Excellence," A supplement to Lynchburg News and Advance, September 8, 2002.

Potter, Dorothy T. "Walls and Halls, An Architectural History of L. C." In Jubilee: 1903-1978. Lynchburg, VA: Lynchburg College, 1978.

Potter, Edmund D. "The Westover Hotel." M. A. thesis, University of Virginia, 1995.

Wake, Orville. "The First Fifty Years, A History of Lynchburg College." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Virginia, 1957.


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