Hotel D Photograph Gallery

Hotel D, located in the center of the East Range, was begun in 1820 and finished a year later in 1821. The design that Jefferson used for Hotel D was taken almost directly from one of the West Range hotels, since the proctor (Arthur Brockenbrough) wanted to start cutting timber as soon as possible because of pressure from the Board of Visitors, and Jefferson had not yet prepared plans for the East Range hotels. The contract for the construction of Hotel D was given to partners John Perry & Abia B. Thorn from Philadelphia, in part due to the fact that Perry had owned the land that the university was now occupying. The total cost for Hotel D is difficult to determine, as multiple vendors serviced multiple projects on grounds, but Brockenbrough allocated $3,000 per hotel on the East Range. 

Once construction was complete, independent contractors called hotelkeepers were hired to service the hotels, by feeding students and making repairs on the building. The first hotelkeeper for Hotel D was George W. Spotswood, a distant relative of George Washington, who took the job in order to send his sons to the university for high quality education. Spotswood left us detailed information about the living conditions at Hotel D, which were bleak in its early years. Illness plagued the building, most likely resulting from poor drainage, and Spotswood writes over and over to the Board of Visitors, begging them to make changes. Yet the only changes that were made in the early years were the addition of venitian blinds at the windows, and Spotswood left the university in 1829. 

The hotel remains relatively unchanged for a decade. The changes to the roof may have begun in 1840 but were certainly underway by 1855, due to the increasing number of students coming to the university. The perishable materials used for Hotel D's flat roof were exchanged for slate-covered hipped roofs, and a narrow porch with the same roofing was added to the West face. In 1858, the Visitors declare Hotel D unfit to be used as a hotel, and it is unclear whether there were more changes to the building that prompted this decision. But after the Board's declaration, the current hotelkeeper moved out and Hotel D was used for other purposes. 

 

See also: Hotel D Render Gallery and Hotel D Animation