Critique Wren Building...oldest academic building in the U.S.

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During my last road trip, I visited the Wren Building on the campus of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. This is the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States...and dates back to the late 1600's.

Here are a some photographs that I captured during my visit:

1- The Wren Building is situated within walking distance of Colonial Williamsburg.
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2
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3- The College was closely affiliated with the Church of England throughout the colonial period. While the college no longer has an official religious affiliation, the Chapel continues to be used for worship services held by campus ministries of many faiths.
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4- The Blue Room served as the administrative seat of the College throughout the colonial period. Today, the room is used by students defending their doctoral dissertations and honors theses. The portrait is of Margaret Thatcher, the first female chancellor of the College since the Revolutionary War.
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5
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6- The Great Hall served as a dining hall, as well as the room where large gatherings, lectures and recitals were held. Over the fireplace is a portrait of Queen Anne of England. Queen Anne provided significant funds for the rebuilding of the College after the fire of 1705.
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Thanks for looking...

Next up, the amazing Hunt Library on the campus of North Carolina State University!

Glenn
 
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Stunning. I had no idea. Imagine defending your dissertation in a setting like that! Wow. The weight of history on your shoulders, to say nothing about your learned committee glowering at you from around that table (I never did, honest!) and your own over-confidence and nervousness hitting you from both sides.
Thanks Glen for a great piece of history.
I can't help dwell on the stark differences between this simple Church of England (Anglican) chapel and the ornate Episcopal one in Richmond!
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
23,936
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
Stunning. I had no idea. Imagine defending your dissertation in a setting like that! Wow. The weight of history on your shoulders, to say nothing about your learned committee glowering at you from around that table (I never did, honest!) and your own over-confidence and nervousness hitting you from both sides.
Thanks Glen for a great piece of history.
I can't help dwell on the stark differences between this simple Church of England (Anglican) chapel and the ornate Episcopal one in Richmond!
Thanks Nick...those initial university buildings were often one stop fits all buildings. The building contained the classrooms, dorms, chapel, etc. all under one roof. This chapel is actually just another room withing the Wren Building. As I walked through the building, I was amazed to see something different each time I opened a door.

Yes, it would be rather intimidating to be defending a dissertation in the same space that other famous graduates from the College used: Thomas Jefferson, John Tyler, James Monroe and John Marshall!

Glenn
 
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Thanks for posting these, Glenn. They're beautifully done as usual, and bring back memories.

My daughter graduated from William and Mary in 1996, and had a few classes in that building. As a music major, she gave her senior recital in the room pictured in #6. She majored in piano and harpsichord, and played Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #5 which features a long solo for harpsichord.

The College of William and Mary is second only to Harvard as the oldest college in the U.S.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
23,936
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
Thanks for posting these, Glenn. They're beautifully done as usual, and bring back memories.

My daughter graduated from William and Mary in 1996, and had a few classes in that building. As a music major, she gave her senior recital in the room pictured in #6. She majored in piano and harpsichord, and played Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #5 which features a long solo for harpsichord.

The College of William and Mary is second only to Harvard as the oldest college in the U.S.
Thanks Jim...I was impressed with the campus. And everyone was so cooperative with my photography requests. I was surprised that I was able to freely walk into any academic building on the campus.

This was not the case during my Harvard visit. All of the buildings were locked...and the people in the library denied my request to enter (let alone take pictures). Then again, the Harvard campus was packed with tourists. I can see why they have to limit access. With the mobs of people they would be replacing the carpet in the library every other week.

Glenn
 

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