Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project



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Institution Name: Hampden-Sydney College
Original/Historic Place Name: North Carolina House
Location on Campus: Via Sacra
Date(s) of Construction:
1830original construction Cosby, Dabney
1989exterior restoration
Designer: Dabney Cosby (Raleigh, NC)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Federal (Glossary)
Significance: culture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: brick
Walls: brick
Roof: tin, metal
1830-1895private residence (house for Seminary professors)
1895-1939president's house
1939-present (2006)private residence (dean of faculty's house)

Middlecourt was built with funds raised by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. They may have influenced the design, since it is more like a New England house than a Virginian one. It was restored in 1977, and the coeval kitchen quarters were restored as a guest cottage in 1981. It has been described by Virginia Landmark historians as "a significant outbuilding survival."

It was built as a home for professors at the Seminary. When the Seminary moved to Richmond in 1895, the campus was bought by Major Richard Venable and given to the College. It became a professor's house, and in 1939 it became the president's house.

Originally a standard Federal House with entry room and staircase, it was converted into center-hall form shortly before or just after the Civil War. The exterior was restored in 1989.

It was built as a house for Seminary professors, then given to the college on the condition that it become the president's house (replacing Graham Hall). It was used as such until 1939, when the outgoing president refused to move out. It served as a faculty home until its restoration and is now the Dean of Faculty's house. The date and original name are painted on the chimneys.


Brinkley, John L. On This Hill: A Narrative History of Hampden-Sydney College. Hampden-Sydney, VA: Hampden-Sydney College, 1994.

Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Hampden-Sydney College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1970.


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Last update: November 2006