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The original structure of the Administration Building (1848) consisted of the two-story square central section. An east wing appeared in 1852 and the matching west wing two years later. In 1903, the College added a complete third floor and new porches, front and back.
The building has served virtually every purpose for the College--as classrooms, chapel, dorm, library, gymnasium, and as the president's home and offices. With the 1903 addition, biology and chemistry labs occupied the third floor until well into the twentieth century. In the mid-1980s, the exterior was fully refurbished and the slate roof was replaced.
The building remains today the true centerpiece and most recognizable symbol of Roanoke College, particularly as an architectural focal point of the vista from the north end of College Street. It is set within a picturesque, park-like setting not uncommon in late 19th century landscape design.
Eisenberg, William E. The First Hundred Years, Roanoke College, 1842-1942. Salem, VA: Trustees of Roanoke College, 1942.
Miller, Mark F. Dear Old Roanoke, A Sesquicentennial Portrait, 1842-1992. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1992.
Traditions: Roanoke College Yesterday and Today. Salem, VA: Roanoke College, 1981.
Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Main Campus Complex, Roanoke College. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ Park Service, 1973.