Founders Hall exterior with VCU sign

Founders Hall Building Envelope Rehabilitation

Founders Hall was built in the mid-1880s as a private residence for local entrepreneur E. A. Saunders. Then, in 1925, the Richmond Professional Institute acquired the building, later becoming VCU’s first building on the Monroe Park Campus. It has since served as a residence hall, dining hall, infirmary, and currently houses several College of Humanities and Sciences units. The building is also a part of the West Franklin Street Historic District as recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2021, VCU partnered with Raymond Engineering to assess and determine how best to maintain and preserve the historic building, which identified the need to rehabilitate the building envelope. In fall 2023, the building envelope rehabilitation construction began. The project consists of exterior restoration of the original Saunders house, including copper and slate roof replacements, low-slope roof replacements, brick and stone masonry restoration, and window repairs. Work also includes installing a thermal envelope in the attic space and reworking access to the attic. The chiller and fire alarm system will also be replaced, which will be separate from the building envelope project. 

The building remains open for business throughout the duration of the project. 

Project status: Under construction

Location: 827 W. Franklin Street

Estimated cost: $3.2 million

Funding source: State maintenance reserve funds

Estimated timeline: Construction began in fall 2023 is scheduled to be completed by summer 2024.

Primary consultants: Raymond Engineering (architect) and SRC Construction (general contractor)