Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Lee House

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Institution Name: Washington and Lee University
Original/Historic Place Name: President's House
Location on Campus: center campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1868original construction Oltmanns, C. W.
Designer: C. W. Oltmanns
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Italianate (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone
Walls: brick
Roof: metal
ca. 1868-present (2006)president's house

The house and stables were built for Robert E. Lee in 1868, when he became president of the college. The building has been well-maintained and used continuously as a president's residence, with no significant alterations except the addition of plumbing, electrical, and heating systems. Lee died in the house several years after it was built. The house is part of the National Historic Landmark site that includes all of Washington and Lee's front campus.


Simpson, Pamela H., and Royster Lyle, Jr. The Architecture of Historic Lexington. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1977.

Simpson, Pamela H. "Reflections on White Columns." In Come Cheer for Washington and Lee: The University at 250 Years, edited by Mame Warren. Lexington, VA: Washington and Lee University, 1998.

Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Washington and Lee University Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1971.


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Last update: November 2006