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The Medical College of Virginia’s Egyptian Building is a historical symbol for Virginia Commonwealth University and the Medical College of Virginia’s campus.
The building, located on East Marshall Street, was built in 1844 by Philadelphian architect Thomas W. Stewart for the Medical Department of Hampden-Sydney College (now MCV).
Jodi Koste, a librarian and local historian at MCV campus’ Tompkins-McCaw Library, believes the building holds significant historical value.
"The fact that we have provided medical instruction in the building since the fall of 1844 is remarkable," Koste said. "The Egyptian Building is a wonderful architectural and historical asset for the university."
Once used as the Old College building, the Egyptian Building is best known for its unique Egyptian design. Koste said the building offers a scenic beauty for students and faculty alike.
"The building’s unusual architectural style gives us a building that is distinctive. I think it gives students a sense of history and understanding of how far this institution has come," Koste said.
The five-story structure serves numerous purposes on the MCV campus, housing the 270-seat Baruch Auditorium, the Office of Continuing Medical Education, the Department of Physical Medicine and Physical Rehabilitation, and small classrooms.
Brian Nguyen, a student in the VCU School of Medicine, appreciates the value of the building, and believes it has become a noticeable symbol of the college.
"None of the other buildings at MCV campus have the history and charm of the Egyptian building; it has become the symbol of MCV by default," he said. "The architecture of the building is magnificent. It serves as an icon for a medical school rich in history; once inside you really realize how old the building is."
In 1969 the National Register of Historic Places recognized the landmark as the oldest building south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The Egyptian Building, in its 163 years, has accommodated every school at the MCV campus at one time or another.
The following articles - written by VCU Journalism Students - examine the medical school's legacy, student life, programs, buildings and future. All students are from Professor Bonnie Newman Davis' MASC 303 Newswriting Course. Loren Pritchett assisted in editing the articles.
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