Virginia Tech Development – Blacksburg VA

Description

The campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia—or, as it was then known, as Virginia Polytechnic Institute (V.P.I.)—was dramatically developed as part of numerous New Deal projects during the Great Depression. The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided multiple rounds of funding for the construction of several buildings on campus from the mid-1930s to early 1940s. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was also active on the campus.

Public Works Administration-financed buildings included:

  • Burruss Hall
  • Graduate Life Center (originally Faculty Center)
  • Owens Hall
  • Eggleston Hall (Main, East, and West)
  • East Campbell Hall
  • Military Building (orig. Utilities Building)
  • Hutcheson Hall
  • Smyth Hall (orig. Natural Science Building)
  • Commencement Hall [remodeling]; since demolished
  • Armory

WPA developments on campus include:

  • Airport expansion
  • Seitz Hall (orig. Agricultural Engineering Building)
  • Agnew Hall (orig. Home Economics Building)

There were many other buildings constructed during the 1930s/early 1940s that are presently part of the Virginia Tech campus, including: the Media Building (a 1934 elementary school); the Power Plant (with a Depression-era addition); Holden Hall; an “engineering building” identified in The New York Times; an addition to Davidson Hall; Hillcrest Hall; War Memorial Hall; and the gold course seed house. It is unclear to Living New Deal which, if any, of these additional structures were part of New Deal projects.

Source notes

Virginia Tech: https://history.unirel.vt.edu/physical_plant/campus_buildings.html
https://history.unirel.vt.edu/physical_plant/building_chronology.html
https://history.unirel.vt.edu/physical_plant/map_gallery.html (accessed Jul. 13, 2022)

"Virginia Tech Campus from the Clouds," Richmond Times Dispatch, Jul. 31, 1935 (pg. 4): https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/827984080/

"New Buildings at V. P. I.," Richmond Times Dispatch, Jul. 31, 1940 (pg. 6): https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/828026206

"Ten Buildings Dedicated," The New York Times, August 11, 1940: https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1940/08/11/94836807.pdf

 

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on July 13, 2022.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE

Location Info


Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Location notes: General location marker

Coordinates: 37.227, -80.422

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please note:

  • Comments allow viewers to share information with others or alert us to errors or changes in a New Deal site.
  • We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.
  • This page shows all the information we have for this site; if you have new information or photos to share, click below.

SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.