College of William & Mary
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Notable Alumni: Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Tyler
Period: 1693 -
The College of William and Mary is the oldest collegiate institution in the United States, having been founded in 1695. The three original buildings that formed the early college (The Wren Building, the President’s House and the Brafferton) still survive and are considered to be one of the most important historic sites in the country. As the college expanded in the 19th century, additional buildings were erected to serve the needs of a growing academic population, however, by the early 1920s the college saw the need to create an entirely new campus that would respect the original buildings and even enhance them by carrying forward the historic architectural vocabulary into the new buildings. The architectural firm of Robertson and Gillette of Richmond, Virginia was selected to expand the campus, and in the space of a decade created a symmetrical composition of Colonial Revival buildings arranged around an expansive sunken garden. Gillette’s expanded campus was the first of its kind and it served to inspire scores of campus designers for generations.