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Botetourt Hall, completed in 1890 as a new dining hall, is an octagonal structure that occupies the corner of the Front Quadrangle between Main and West Buildings. The ground floor of the brick building originally housed apartments and offices, and a Victorian gallery above faced both front and back campus. Topped by an octagonal dome, the structure featured a domed hall sixty feet in diameter as well as arched doors and windows. The building was called the New Dining Hall until the early 1930s, when it was renamed, presumably for Botetourt Springs, the Botetourt Springs Resort, or for Lord Botetourt, colonial governor of Virginia in the 18th century.
Botetourt Hall is an outstanding octagonal structure in Southwest Virginia, where few octagonal buildings appear. The building was scheduled for demolition in the early 1970s to make way for a new student center, but an outcry from members of the Hollins community saved this familiar campus landmark. The octagonal hall was renovated to house dance and art studios, the campus post office, and a reading room and gallery containing portraits of past Hollins presidents and members of the Cocke family. The preservation of Botetourt Hall maintained the integrity of the historic Front Quadrangle and preserved an architectural form that is rarely found in Virginia.
Hollins College Quadrangle. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1974.
Meredith, Molly. "An Historical and Architectural Guide to Hollins College." M. L. S. thesis, Hollins College, Roanoke, VA, 1997.
Niederer, Frances J. Hollins College: An Illustrated History. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1973.
Vickery, Dorothy Scovil. Hollins College, 1842-1942: An Historical Sketch. Roanoke, VA: Hollins College, 1942.
Whitwell, W. L., and Lee W Winborne. The Architectural Heritage of the Roanoke Valley. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1982.