Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Main Hall

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Institution Name: Averett University
Original/Historic Place Name: Roanoke Institute
Location on Campus: 420 West Main St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1910-1911original construction McLaughlin, Pettit & Johnson
1955addition of two three-story wings
Designer: McLaughlin, Pettit & Johnson
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Colonial revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Walls: brick
ca. 1911other (parlors)
ca. 1911auditorium
ca. 1911other (business offices)
ca. 1911classrooms
1911-present (2006)residence hall
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (storage)
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (bookstore in basement)
ca. 2004-present (2006)administration

Main Hall is a three-story Georgian revival with a red-brick façade and central pedimented portico. The building, however, means more to the community for its educational associations than for its architecture because it has served as the main building of the school for nearly 100 years. Just after the turn of the century, the president and trustees of the college agreed to move the campus of the liberal arts school to the outskirts of Danville, where a modern building could be constructed that would provide adequate space and would include indoor plumbing. In 1910-1911 the current building was erected, designed by the architectural firm of Pettit, McLaughlin and Johnson.

In 1955 two three-story wings were added to the sides of the structure, and over the years many alterations have been made to the inside of the building. Yet Main Hall is today, as in the past, the center of the institution. It sits in a prominent location on a major thoroughfare through town and is the oldest educational facility still in use in Danville.


Cahill, Mary, and Gary Grant. Victorian Danville: Fifty Two Landmarks: Their Architecture and History. Danville, VA: Womack Press, 1977.

Gray, David Wesley. "A History of Averett College." M. A. thesis, University of Richmond, 1960.

Hayes, J. I. A History of Averett College. Danville, VA: Averett College Press, 1984.

Main Building of Roanoke Institute (Averett College). Preliminary information request. Richmond, VA: Department of Conservation and Historic Resources/Division of Historic Landmarks, 1988.


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