The Bigger Picture: Stepping Into History

October 8, 2019 By Dan Addison, Dan Addison,

A University of Virginia student steps from the midday sun into the welcoming recesses of Garrett Hall. Designed by McKim, Mead and White – the New York City architecture firm that re-envisioned the Rotunda following an 1895 fire – Garrett Hall opened in 1909 and was originally known as the Commons, a central dining hall for the Grounds. In Thomas Jefferson’s original design of the Academical Village, students dined in the hotels along the Range; by the early 20th century, enrollment had grown to the point where a central dining space was needed.

The building has gone through a number of uses since. Fully renovated in 2009, it now houses the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, under the direction of Dean Ian Solomon.


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