Hello! My name is Andrea. I enjoy writing and in my spare time I am an avid photographer and artist. I love to spend time with my husband who is my best friend.
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Nestled serenely behind the campus Prayer Chapel, and next to the Hill Dorms, overlooking the distant Blue Ridge Mountains, lies a quiet fixture of Liberty University that many don't even know exists. When driving through campus, it's quite possible that you may not even see it. This hidden gem is the Carter Glass Mansion, the original house that stood alone on the mountain when Jerry Falwell Sr. first envisioned the Liberty campus before the first building blocks were even laid.
Many students may not know the mansion is there, and many more may not even know that it is open for tours and is actually a quaint bed and breakfast to several visiting guests of Liberty. I took a tour of the house myself and talked with one of the curators, Patricia Cawthorne, about the history of the place.
Originally built in 1923 it was the home of Carter Glass, a wealthy businessman. Near the train tracks, he would often drive his car onto a train car and ride the passenger car into DC to conduct business. A man of means and influence, he built the house with as many bedrooms as he had grown children in case they wanted to come and stay, with each having their own private bathroom, a rarity in that time period. Falwell started purchasing surround land in 1971 and eventually purchased and moved his office into the building in 1990.
Few know that this home not only served as Falwell's office, but at the beginning of the school, it housed a small call center, as well as offices for several other school departments like the counseling center. Jerry Falwell Sr. used the office located in this house up until his death in 2007, and in respect of his memory his office has not been altered since the day he passed away. Even the lights remain on day and night to serve as a remembrance. There is also a small museum about Falwell's use of the building and surrounding land through the years. The images hanging there provide a great snapshot into the history of the grounds.
Other than the office and museum, the mansion rests as a reflection of it's original design, and there are a total of 6 bedrooms and bathrooms (of which all contain original tile work and fixtures). At any one time the house can hold 16 people, and has at a few occasions hosted as many guests. Each bedroom has a unique style and theme that adds to the character and charm of the house. Many occasions such as banquets and weddings have taken place on the grounds and inside the mansion as well. The formal dining room with it's golden tableware offers a unique and beautiful centerpiece to such events. Guests of the house are also provided food and snacks in the "kitchen" which feels much like an old English tearoom.
There have been many famous visitors to the mansion including Ted Cruz and his family, Tim Tebow, Mike Huckabee, Clayton King, Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty and many others. The mansion is open to visitors and tours throughout the year. So the next time you visit campus be sure and stop by for a quick tour and see the little-known gem of Liberty University.
Have you visited the mansion already? Share your experience or a story that you heard while you were there!