Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Liberal Arts Hall

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Institution Name: Davis & Elkins College
Original/Historic Place Name: Liberal Arts Hall
Location on Campus: 100 Campus Dr.
Date(s) of Construction:
1924original construction Martens, Walter F.
Designer: Walter F. Martens (Charleston, WV)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Colonial revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: limestone, sandstone
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
1969-present (2006)faculty offices
1969-present (2006)administration
1969-present (2006)classrooms

Liberal Arts Hall was built when the campus of Davis & Elkins College was moved from south Elkins to the newly deeded estate of Hallie Davis Elkins. It is a four-story modified Georgian revival-style building. For more than 30 years the top floor was left unfinished. The second floor was utilized exclusively as the college library. In 1959, these holdings were moved to a newly constructed library named in honor of former college faculty member and United States Senator Jennings Randolph.

Liberal Arts Hall was extensively remodeled in 1969 to accommodate faculty, administrative offices, and classrooms. A significant focus on West Virginia-related history is found in the Pearl S. Buck Conference Room (named after the author who gave us a collection of her books), where a portion of the Jim and Ola Comstock collection is displayed. Before his death, Jim Comstock was the editor of a West Virginia newspaper, The West Virginia Hillbilly.


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