Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Virginia Hall

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Institution Name: Tusculum College
Original/Historic Place Name: Virginia Hall
Location on Campus: Shiloh Rd.
Date(s) of Construction:
1901original construction Sullivan, Louis H.
Designer: Louis H. Sullivan
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: unknown
Walls: brick
Roof: asphalt shingle
ca. 1901residence hall (women's; included "test" kitchens for Department of Domestic Science)
ca. 2004-present (2006)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2006)administration

This building was constructed in 1901 using funds donated by Nettie Fowler McCormick, widow of Cyrus McCormick, the inventor of the grain reaper, and was named after Mrs. McCormick's daughter, Virginia. It was the second building built on the campus with the support of Mrs. McCormick, and reflects her continuing support of the institution, her steps toward modernization of the campus, and her commitment to supporting church-affiliated higher education, especially where it served regions that provided fewer opportunities for students. The building was a women's dormitory and housed the Department of Domestic Science, which Mrs. McCormick strongly supported in order to provide domestic skills and training to young ladies of the period.

Designed by Mrs. McCormick's friend, architect Louis Sullivan, mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright and "designer of Chicago's skyline," Virginia Hall was Tusculum's first modern building with baths, fire escapes, and furnace heat. The original blueprints are stored in the office of a local architect. The building is currently in excellent condition, having received several renovations over the years. The most recent renovation removed a false wall in the lobby to reveal the original large stone fireplace.


Fuhrmann, Joseph T. The Life and Times of Tusculum College. Kingsport, TN: Arcata Graphics, 1986.

Ragan, Allen. A History of Tusculum College, 1794-1944. Bristol, TN: King Printing, 1945.

Reiners, John R. Tusculum College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1980.

Sexton, Donal J., Jr., and Myron J. Smith Jr. Glimpses of Tusculum College--A Pictorial History. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing, 1994.

Tusculum College. Historic American Buildings Survey report and photographs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ National Park Service, [n.d.]

Virginia Hall [Tusculum College]. Historic American Buildings Survey photographs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, [n.d.].


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Last update: November 2006