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Original Campus Architecture

By the time the coordinate colleges of Richmond and Westhampton opened their doors in the fall of 1914, there were eight buildings on campus: Ryland Hall, North Court, Jeter Hall, Thomas Hall, the Steam Plant, Sarah Brunet Hall, the Science Building, and the Playhouse. All were newly built for the opening of the colleges with the exception of the Playhouse, which pre-dated Richmond College’s purchase of the property. Two of the original buildings, the Science Building and the Playhouse, were constructed out of wood and fell victim to fires in the following decades. The Science Building was located next to the Steam Plant and the Playhouse was located where Boatwright Memorial Library now stands. 

The remaining six buildings, Ryland Hall, North Court, Jeter Hall, Thomas Hall, the Steam Plant, and Sarah Brunet Hall still stand on the University of Richmond campus toady. Each of these buildings was designed by Ralph Adams Cram, an architect with the Boston-based firm of Cram, Goodhue, & Ferguson, who was well known for his work with Gothic style architecture. Cram was commissioned for the work in 1910 and construction was completed on all of the original buildings by August 1914. In accordance with Cram’s specialty, Richmond and Westhampton Colleges were established with a Collegiate Gothic design, which was very unique among Virginia colleges.

Ryland Hall

Ralph Adams Cram's architectural drawing of Ryland Hall in Collegiate Gothic style.

To learn more about the original buildings that are still used today, please browse through their individual pages listed in the navigation bar above. On each page, you will find two photographs of the same building, taken from similar angles, with one from around 1914 and the other from the Fall of 2014. These photographs are set side-by-side in an effort to show the change that has occured over the past century.