Payne Hall (c. 1831) is part of the Washington College group, which is comprised of the three oldest buildings on the campus: Washington Hall, Robinson Hall, and Payne Hall. These three buildings, together with the general academic buildings Newcomb Hall and Tucker Hall form the Colonnade, a National Historic Landmark and at the center of the Washington and Lee University National Register Historic District.
Payne Hall houses the English department and is one of the most historically significant buildings on campus, being the location where Robert E. Lee took his oath of office as W&L’s president in 1865. Glavé & Holmes Architecture (G&HA) was commissioned to lead the design for a complete rehabilitation. G&HA worked with the University to optimize use of space for faculty offices, work rooms, classroom space, and administrative office space.
G&HA followed the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation guidelines in preserving the major character defining features in each building while upgrading all the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life safety systems throughout. The interior environment was also significantly refreshed, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere with ample opportunity for casual interaction between students, faculty, and staff.
Due to the careful preservation of the facility’s historic properties, the project is on track to qualify for historic tax credits through the Commonwealth of Virginia’s tax credit program. The Project is also targeting LEED Silver Certification.