Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Front Lawn/Front Campus

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Institution Name: Washington and Lee University
Original/Historic Place Name: Washington College/College Hill
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1820-1890original construction Link, Theodore
Designer: various; master plan by Theodore Link
Type of Place: Building group
Style: Italianate, Romanesque revival, Greek revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, history, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1820-present (2006)master plan (campus)
ca. 1820-present (2006)outdoor space

The front campus of Washington and Lee, including the Colonnade (1820-1842), four faculty houses (1842), Newcomb Hall (1890), the Lee House (1868), and Lee Chapel (1868) is a virtually intact grouping of mid-nineteenth century college buildings with much of the original landscaping still in place. A campus plan by Theodore Link, prepared in 1904, preserved the front campus by organizing future growth along a narrow "mall" to the rear of the original college buildings. Link's plan is an excellent example of forward-thinking planning to preserve the historic and cultural resources of the college.

The entire front campus has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, and the Lee Chapel is also listed separately in the National Register.


Dober, Richard P. Campus Design. New York: John Wiley, 1992.

Klauder, Charles Z., and Herbert C. Wise. College Architecture in America and Its Part in the Development of the Campus. New York and London: C. Scribner's Sons, 1929.

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