Robinson Hall construction site, 5/29/2019. Photo courtesy of the author.

This is Part 3 of a multi-part series. To read Part 2, visit https://vault217.gmu.edu/?p=8196

The central part of George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus is undergoing a major facelift. The building that was once Robinson Hall A was demolished this spring, and the 4.14-acre site is being prepared for the new, much more modern, Robinson Hall. The new building, expected to be completed in late 2021, will be home to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Mason Innovation Exchange (MIX). It will feature 30 classrooms and will total over 218,000 square feet, making it the largest academic building on the Fairfax Campus.

Oddly enough, the university was in the midst of building a large academic building almost exactly 45 years ago on the same 4.14 acres. And, oddly enough, it also was named Robinson Hall. That Robinson Hall, at 100,000 square feet, was less than half the size of the new project and contained 28 classrooms and 14 labs. While the former Robinson cost about $2.4 million to build, the new Robinson will total about $112 million.  In June of 1974, the approximate date of the photograph below, the central part of Fairfax looked strikingly familiar to how it looks today.

Aerial photograph of George Mason University , Fairfax campus, 1974. Photo shows simultaneous construction work on Fenwick Library (at right), Academic II (bottom center), and Student Union (at left). George Mason University Facilities Management records #R0017, Box 139. Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Robinson Hall construction site, 5/29/2019. Photo courtesy of the author.

The new Robinson Hall and its surroundings will dramatically change the look of the center of campus. Gone will be the old Robinson Halls A and B, which were marked by the blocky Brutalist architecture of the last century. They will be replaced by a single building featuring sleek curves, brushed aluminum in places, energy-efficient green glass, and breathtaking landscape features.

Rendering of the new Robinson Hall. Courtesy of George Mason University Facilities. Accessed at https://construction.gmu.edu/stay-updated/document-archive
Site plan for the new Robinson Hall. Courtesy of Geoge Mason University Facilities. Accessed at
https://construction.gmu.edu/stay-updated/document-archive

The university has designated this undertaking the Core Campus Project. Detailed information pertaining to all facets of the project can be found at construction.gmu.edu.

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