One of the University of Mississippi’s most beloved icons, this picturesque building has possibly been sketched, drawn, and painted more than all the rest of the campus’s buildings combined. And for good reason: the towering turret, castellated walls, expressive romanesque arches and lintels of stone and concrete, and the two-level attic which rises skyward under the steeply-sloped roof give the building a presence which belies its modest footprint. Ventress hall is an unusually fine building for its period and locale.
Built in 1889, Ventress Hall was the University’s first building designed specifically to function as a library. Its central stair hall is dominated by a fine stained glass representation of the Confederate Grays heading off to war. The window commemorates the many students and faculty who joined the Southern cause at the onset of the Civil War. The University closed during the War years, and none of the Confederate Grays ever returned.
Ventress Hall is now the home of the offices of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
The Renovation of Ventress Hall received a Heritage Award of Excellence from the Mississippi Heritage Trust, in 1999, and a Certificate of Merit from the Mississippi Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors for Excellence in Construction, in 1998.Ventress Hall Website