Monday, August 24, 2015

35/15 Part 1 - The College

What is 35/15? Read the Introduction first.

(Note: All 1935 photographs are on the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library Omeka site. They are viewable by clicking the link provided, scrolling to the bottom of the page, then clicking the image.)

   Let us go on a walk down Duke of Gloucester Street. First stop is the College of William and Mary.

   Founded in 1693, the College of William and Mary has the honor of being America's second oldest higher academic institution, as well as operating America's oldest academic building, the Wren Building.

The Brafferton


The Brafferton, August 2, 2015, 5:47pm

   This is an original building, used originally as an Indian School. Unlike the other two, this one has never had a fire. 

   Added to the roof since 1935 is a water-catcher to divert most rainwater from rolling off the roof onto people coming through the doorway. Handrails have also been added to the sides of the stairs. Most of the changes occur in the yard. Gone are the shrubs and some of the trees, letting the architecture stand for itself, which it can, but leaving the building with a less-approachable feeling. This might have been done to protect the building foundations from plant roots trying to get through. The trees behind the Brafferton dwarf the building. An extra lamppost has been added to the right of the building.

   In the 1950's and 60's, The Brafferton served as offices for Alumni Services and rooms for W&M guests to stay in. The building now houses William and Mary's President and Provost offices.

   Perhaps due to the Presidents House looking nearly identical, Lincoln's picture of it was not included in the Architectural Record.

Botetourt Statue


Wren Building and Botetourt statue, August 2, 2015, 11:20am

   Lord Botetourt (pronounced Bot-et-tot) was the royal governor of the colony Virginia from 1768 until his death in 1770. Virginians loved him so much they commissioned a statue of him in 1773, the only royal governor to receive such an honor in all the 13 colonies.

   At first glance, not much seems to have changed here, but not so. The statue of Lord B and his pedestal are now reproductions. This bronze reproduction is several inches higher than his marble predecessor due to his additional slate base. New Lord B also features a new right hand with scrolls (the original had been broken off shortly after the end of the American Revolution) (His head was broken off too, but that was saved and later put back on). The original picture was taken in spring, when the leaves are just starting to grow, whereas mine was in mid-summer. 

  The original Lord Botetourt was moved inside the Swem Library for safety in 1958. He came back into the spotlight in 1966 in his own gallery space in the Library basement. In 1993 the new statue was commissioned to complete the college yard yet again.

Original Lord Botetourt in Swem Library basement, 2015

Wren Building Entrance


Wren Building Entrance, August 2, 2015, 11:25am

   Here is the Wren Building, the oldest academic building in America. It was built in 1695, burned in 1705, 1859, and 1862, and restored to its colonial appearance in 1928-1931.

   Whenever a clock was viewable in a picture, I took a picture following the clock time instead of matching the shadows. So here the shadows don't match because it is different times of the year, but it is at the same time.

   No more shrubs, no more ivy. No more benches. Trash barrels are here now. What remains is the beautiful Wren Building, the cannons, and the lamppost.

Wren Building, Blue Room


Blue Room of the Wren Building, 2015
   This is a blue room on the second floor of the Wren Building. The only blue room. This room was used by administration, for meetings and for storing important school documents. Now, it is a conference/presentation space.

   The chairs are similar yet different. Gone are the chandeliers, in their place are candle wall sconces, standing candelabras, and candlesticks on the fireplace mantel. The portraits have also changed. George Washington has replaced Thomas Roderick Dew (College President 1836-1846). Dew has moved into the second floor hallway in the Wren Building. The other picture (not anywhere else in the Wren Building, so I do not know who they are) was replaced by Bishop Henry Compton, first chancellor of the College.

Portrait of Thomas Roderick Dew, 2015

Wren Building, Great Hall


Great Hall of the Wren Building, 2015

   The Great Hall historically was a dining hall and multipurpose space. Before the Capitol was built, the General Assembly met here between 1700 and 1705, and again in 1747 when the Capitol burned down.

   The (heavy) tables and benches are the same, just pushed against the wall. The George Washington bust is no longer lurking in the corner. The wall sconces and paintings have been changed out and the chandeliers are gone. The painting over the fireplace is that of Queen Anne, who gave funds to repair the building after the 1705 fire.

Wren Building, Chapel


Wren Chapel, August 12, 2015, 10:05am

   One of the three original schools in William and Mary was the Divinity School. Thus a chapel was needed and built as part of the Wren Building in 1732. This beautiful space is now used for religious purposes for any faith, as well as weddings.

   The 1935 shot features a clock at 10:05am, which in 2015 has disappeared, along with the railings' curtains. The coat of arms, King George II's, previously above the clock, now rests where it once stood. The second floor back window, while still there, is now blocked by an organ.

   Unlike all the other chandeliers pictured in the 1935 Wren Building, one seems to have remained here. It is now hanging significantly lower. Sconces and plaques have been added to the walls. Plaques were added by the late 40's, honoring the memories of notable presidents, alumni, and friends of the College.

   The book in the forefront has also changed from a bible to my bible for this project. The second book's stand from 1935 was in the Great Hall when I was taking these. Hopefully the candles are not the same ones. The candlesticks most surely are not, their bases changing from triangles to circles.

Sources Used:
The Brafferton - W&M
William & Mary Wiki - Boutetourt and his Statue
"Behold Williamsburg" Book by Samuel Chamberlin. 1947.
The Wren Building - W&M
"The Restoration of Colonial Williamsburg" Architectural Record, December 1935
"A Self-Guided Tour of The Sir Christopher Wren Building" Pamphlet offered in the Wren Building

View the whole 35/15 Project:
Part 1 - College of William and Mary (You are currently viewing this one)
Part 2 - Merchants Square
Part 3 - Buildings that Move
Part 4 - Market Square
Part 5 - Ludwell-Paradise
Part 6 - Queen Street to Botetourt Street
Part 7 - Raleigh Tavern
Part 8 - Paints
Part 9 - Botetourt Street to the Capitol Area
Part 10 - Capitol
Part 11 - No Longer Here
Part 12 - Francis and Nicholson Streets
Part 13 - Garden Edition
Part 14 - The Governor's Palace Gardens
Part 15 - Inside the Governor's Palace

Bonus 35/15 Posts:
35/15: A Dessert Order
35/15: Life in Williamsburg in 1935
35/15: Governor's Palace Wallpaper
35/15: Governor's Palace Wallpaper II

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