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Breazeale Hall (1924-2004)
Breazeale was planned in 1923 as an annex to the West Dormitory (Roddey) to accommodate the rapidly increasing student body during the prosperous 1920s. The college, however, had difficulties financing the annex. It was built in stages for immediate student occupancy when each selection was finished.
For this annex, Winthrop retained the same architects, Edwards and Sayward of Atlanta, who had designed Roddey. Like Roddey it had a “U” shaped plan and orientation with an interior courtyard opening to the south. There were slight variations in window treatment and interior plan. Breazeale was planned for better fire protection with enclosed metal stairs, corner baths near stairwells, and partial concrete construction. The east half was finished in 1924 by J. P. Little Construction Company of Atlanta, and the west half was finished in 1930 by the same company, for a total cost of over $125,000.00. From 1930, when the dormitory was completed, until 1948 no new student dormitories were built at Winthrop.
Breazeale was a three story masonry building with partial basement. The “U” shaped plan had an open walkway connecting wing ends. Its gable roof with pedimented dormers was partly hidden by a masonry and stone balustraded parapet with denticulated wood cornice. Two plain stone belt courses separated the first and second floors, with a wider stone belt course above the foundation. The 8/8 sash windows with flat keystone arches and plain stone sills were generally grouped in pairs – one window per bedroom. Double windows and French doors with sidelights or transoms were aligned above recessed doorways on wing ends, outside corners, and the middle of the center wing. Outside doors were framed with wood pilasters and shelf entablatures.
A three story rectangular porch, like Roddey’s, was on the east end of the center wing. It had first story masonry arcade with separate square wood columns and railings on upper stories. An unusual feature of the building was narrow, single windows between paired bedroom windows. These openings were originally used to ventilate closets.
The raised masonry walkway connecting wing ends had stone capped masonry pillars with iron railings and was open to the sky. Breazeale’s courtyard, while slightly smaller than Roddey’s, contained an open lawn with shrubs around the perimeter.
Long halls, with bedrooms (15’ x 15’) on each side ran through each wing, with steel dog-leg staircases on wing ends and outside corners. Stairs featured iron railings with molded wood banisters. Baths were on inside angled corners of each floor. Halls featured molded wood baseboards and paneled hardwood doors with transoms and molded frames. The partial basement on the west end had additional bedrooms, utility rooms, and a small lounge.
In 1977, dormitory rooms were converted to apartments with partition changes connecting rooms in groups of two and three, kitchen areas, and private baths. Common corner baths, however, remained. The building had a capacity of 114 students in 57 apartments. Its original capacity was 258 students in 129 rooms, but three students were often put in a single bedroom. Breazeale was renovated for handicap use in the early 1980s. The building was demolished in August 2004.
Breazeale was a mate to Roddey with similar scale, plan, Neo-Georgian style, and details. Conversion into apartments enhanced the building’s attractiveness for student housing.