The structures that grace the campus of Blue Ridge School are a vital part of its rich history. Each building, in fact, has its own interesting story to tell. This was not lost on the editors of Architectural Digest as they named the St. George campus one of the most beautiful independent schools in America in their March 29, 2018, edition.
Blue Ridge School was founded in 1909, and over the years the School’s administrators have created an idyllic setting surrounded by classic architecture that enhances the natural beauty of the campus.
One of the iconic buildings at Blue Ridge School is Gibson Memorial Chapel. The chapel was designed by noted Boston architect Ralph Adams Cram and built between 1929 and 1932. It is a six-bay, gable-roofed chapel built on a modified cruciform plan. The chapel was constructed entirely of uncut and uncoursed native fieldstone and is executed in the Gothic Revival style. It is named after Robert Atkinson Gibson (1846-1919), the sixth Episcopal Bishop of Virginia.
Mr. Ralph Adam Cram was a noted architect whose work could be seen throughout the northeast region of the country. He was a consulting architect for Princeton University from 1907 to 1929. He was responsible for the first real master plan that the University followed for future development. He oversaw the erection of some twenty-five buildings during his career. Perhaps Mr. Cram’s most famous work is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
The Martha Bagby Battle House was completed in 1935 and consists of a two-story, four-bay, hipped-roof center section extended by protruding one- and two-story bays on all sides. The house is also constructed of uncut and uncoursed native fieldstone and is in the English Gothic style. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
Originally known as Memorial Hall, it became the Martha Bagby Battle House twenty-eight years later and served as the Headmaster’s residence for many years. It now houses the External Affairs Offices. Battle House is frequently used for receptions and other important gatherings.
The Hatcher C. Williams Library is a relatively new addition to the campus as it opened in September of 1993. Today, the library is a strong focal point for the entire Blue Ridge community. Throughout the decades, the School has continued to enhance the campus with faculty residences, administrative and academic buildings.
For more on the history of the Gibson Memorial Chapel, click here.