Urban Campus

Bettie Davis Wood Hall

The Bettie Davis Wood Hall was the original expansion building for the University of Richmond. Beginning construction in October 1955, its purpose was to be the first of many building that would be able to increase the number of students who could live on campus. The dormitory was constructed in a Collegiate Gothic style with a red brick exterior that would become the style for all building at the University. Surprising enough, the original building and the current building are very similar.

Throughout the years there has been only one major change to the interior, and no major changes to the exterior. The change to the interior mimics the reason for the construction of the building in the first place. Originally on the first floor of the building there was a large suite with a bedroom, bathroom, walk in closet, living room, and a kitchen. This large room could be used by the people living in the room, and also other people around the dorm. After renovations of the building, the bedroom and the living room were blocked off from each other and the living room and kitchen were turned into another two bedrooms with a walk in closet. This change to the interior design, shows what the university considers the space needs. Originally with the kitchen, and the extra living space students could feel comfortable spending most of their time inside Wood Hall, where they could make food and socialize with friends. The change makes it so the students only have one lounge area in the entire building and no place to make food. This change was made in the early 2000’s as the school needed to increase their housing capabilities with the increase in students attending college. This increase is mainly caused by the increase in women attending college, and their want to live on campus.

Finally, the construction of Wood Hall is unique due to its siting on a hill. Instead of leveling out the ground, the building was built at two different levels. The first section of the building is three stories with a basement level underneath but no stairs down to them. Then 5 stairs lower, the second section is only two stories tall with a stairwell that connects to a laundry and electrical room in the basement level directly underneath and a hall way that leads under the first section, where more dorm rooms are located. In conclusion, Bettie Davis Wood Hall signifies the on going need for Universities to increase there housing capabilities for the increasing rate of people wanting a college education.

Bettie Davis Wood Hall