Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Bittle Hall

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Institution Name: Roanoke College
Original/Historic Place Name: Bittle Memorial Hall
Location on Campus: Front Quad
Date(s) of Construction:
1879original construction
1894addition of transepts and demi-octagonal apse
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Victorian (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: brick
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
ca. 1879-1962library
ca. 1879-present (2006)memorial site (to college founder and president, Dr. David Bittle)
ca. 1963-1983administration (Office of Student Affairs)
ca. 1983-present (2006)other (leased to Lutheran Church for office, meeting space, and archives for Virginia Synod and its Bishop)

Begun in June 1878, this building opened as the college's first library on October 17, 1879, marking the inauguration of Dr. Julius D. Dreher as the third president of the College. When conceived, this structure was to have marked and honored the centennial of General Andrew Lewis, but with the death of the College's founder and first president, Dr. David Bittle, in 1876, there was a change in plans. With renovations and an added wing, it served as the library until 1962 when the new library on High Street was opened. Bittle Hall was converted to the office of Student Affairs the following year and remained as such for twenty years.

The building was renovated and leased to the Lutheran Church in 1983 to provide offices, meeting space, and the archives for the Virginia Synod and its Bishop.


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.


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Last update: November 2006