First Student Infirmary
Varsity Hall is located on Hospital Drive.
The Retreat for the Sick Students, or what is now known as Varsity Hall, opened in 1858, a year after typhoid killed fourteen students and two enslaved laborers at the University of Virginia. Its Italianate design is the work of William A. Pratt, an English-born architect and engineer who had run a photography studio in Richmond before becoming the University's first superintendent of buildings and grounds. He constructed the infirmary with an innovative ventilation and heating system designed to provide patients with fresh air.
Historical preservationists believe this to have been the nation's first infirmary built for a college campus. In 2005, in preparation for an expansion of Rouss Hall, engineers moved the 600-ton building 185 feet to its current location.