Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Gate House

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Institution Name: Davis & Elkins College
Original/Historic Place Name: Gatekeeper/Caretaker's Residence
Location on Campus: 100 Campus Dr.
Date(s) of Construction:
1890original construction Mott, Charles T.
Designer: Charles T. Mott (New York)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Victorian (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: limestone, sandstone
Walls: first floor: rough masonry; second floor: wood shingles
Roof: wood shingles
1890-1923private residence (doubled as gatekeeper's/caretaker's residence during the years when the Elkins family spent their summers in Halliehurst)
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (this tiny historic structure provides accommodations for visiting parents, alumni, scholars, and artists)
ca. 2004-present (2006)private residence (available for rent to individuals not associated with the college)

This structure doubled as a gatekeeper's/caretaker's residence when the Elkins family spent their summers at Halliehurst. The house, with its unusual conical towers, resembles a picturesque castle. The general profile of the gate house is Queen Anne, with steeply-pitched roofs broken by several conical towers. The first floor plan includes the vestibule, hall, kitchen, and porch on one axis, with the dining room projecting off the main rooms, and the living room placed opposite in the largest round turret, a unique feature.

After the Elkins estate was deeded to the college, the gate house became the residence of groundskeeper Richard Barry, whose family served the Elkins estate during its social and political heyday. In 1988, the gate house was adopted as a restoration project by the college's Parent Advisory Council, which led fundraising efforts. Initial funds were utilized to correct structural deficiencies and repair storm windows protecting the refurbished leaded glass windows. During an extensive interior face-lift, walls, woodwork, and fixtures were restored to their original condition, and antiquated plumbing in the kitchen and upstairs bath were upgraded to modern standards.

The gatehouse is now a quaint facility used to house college guests and available for rental purposes.


Feller, Laura, and James H. Charleton. Davis and Elkins Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1996.

Ross, Thomas Richard. Davis & Elkins College: The Diamond Jubilee History. Elkins, WV: Davis & Elkins College, 1980.

Ross, Thomas Richard. Henry Gassaway Davis: An Old-Fashioned Biography. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Co., 1994.


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Last update: November 2006