Woodrow Wilson Hall (James Madison University)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Woodrow Wilson Hall
James Madison University 2.jpeg
Wilson Hall at the quadrangle of James Madison University, 2006
General information
TypeUniversity campus building
LocationHarrisonburg, Virginia
Coordinates38°26′17″N 78°52′23″W / 38.438056°N 78.873174°W / 38.438056; -78.873174Coordinates: 38°26′17″N 78°52′23″W / 38.438056°N 78.873174°W / 38.438056; -78.873174
Construction startedJune 19, 1930 (1930-06-19)
Estimated completion1931[1]
OpeningMay 15, 1931 (1931-05-15)
OwnerJames Madison University
ManagementJames Madison University
Top floor3
Technical details
Floor count3
Design and construction
ArchitectCharles M. Robinson
DeveloperNielsen Construction Company

Woodrow Wilson Hall (also known as Wilson Hall) is an American building on the campus of James Madison University (JMU) located on the center of the university's quadrangle in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Dedicated on 15 May 1931, the building's namesake is President Woodrow Wilson, who was born in nearby Staunton, Virginia.

The cornerstone of Wilson Hall was laid on June 19, 1930.[3] The building was constructed out of a blue-gray colored limestone block known as "bluestone"[4] mined from several local quarries.[5]

Occupancy and use[edit]

Wilson Hall initially served as the main administration building for the university and housed the president's office, the post office, classrooms (located on the second and third floors), and the first permanent auditorium on campus (built with a capacity to seat 1,400).[5] During the late 1930s, a recording and broadcasting studio was built in the basement. In the late 1960s, Wilson Hall hosted a men's lounge. For a number of years, the art department was housed within the building. The last classroom, a geography classroom/laboratory was moved out of Wilson Hall in 1990-91.[4] Currently, Wilson Hall houses the student administrative offices.[6]


The building was designed by architect Charles M. Robinson. Constructed as the centerpiece of the JMU quadrangle, Wilson Hall is a three-story building featuring a portico supported with four Roman Doric columns, and a hipped roof topped with a cupola. The inset windows of the building are enclosed by bluestone walls, and are placed in bays with a variable rhythm of three, one, and two. Facing northwest, Wilson Hall is flanked by Maury Hall (built in 1909) and Keezell Hall (built in 1927)[7]


Photo gallery[edit]


  1. ^ "Program of Exercises Marking the Dedication of Woodrow Wilson Hall and the Completion of the Quadrangle", State Teachers College, Harrisonburg, VA. May 15, 1931 (pamphlet from JMU Carrier Library, Special Collections)
  2. ^ "Mrs. Wilson To Attend Harrisonburg Ceremony: College Building Dedicated". Roanoke Times. Roanoke, Virginia. May 1, 1931.
  3. ^ "Ceremony and Program: Laying the Cornerstone of the Main Building of Harrisonburg Teachers College", Rockingham Union Lodge No. 27 A.F. and A.M., June 19, 1930 (pamphlet from JMU Carrier Library, Special Collections)
  4. ^ a b c Dianne Harrah (1995). "Colleges and Universities: James Madison University (Wilson Hall)". Clifton, VA: Wolf Run Studio (SM). Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "James Madison University: Buildings Reflect History of University" (PDF). Inside Nielsen: A Publication of Nielsen Builders. Spring 2007. p. 13.
  6. ^ "Major Buildings: A snapshot in time of the major buildings". Harrisonburg, Virginia: James Madison University. March 2008. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  7. ^ Anne Carter Lee (writer); Ann E. McCleary (2015). "Overview of: James Madison University". Chicago, IL: Society of Architectural Historians (SAH Archipedia: Classic Buildings), and the University of Virginia Press. Retrieved March 15, 2016.