Originally known as the Academical Building, Cabell Hall is one of three buildings designed for the south end of the Lawn in 1898 by Stanford White. The Academical Building was renamed for Joseph C. Cabell, a member of the Board of Visitors, and houses the University's Department of Music and the Music Library.
Cabell Hall directly faces the Rotunda and it connected with Rouss and Cocke Hall on either side by means of a pergola. This three-building grouping formed an extension of the line of pavilions and rooms on the East and West Lawn.
Old Cabell Hall had upper and lower level lecture rooms at either end of the building with a large auditorium in between. The Auditorium had 1,500 seats of molded plywood, divided into 600 seats below the pillared railings, with additional seating in the gallery, and standing room behind the railing and next to the wall.
A copy of The School of Athens by Raphael graces the north wall of the auditorium. The original 400-square foot mural was completed by Raphael in 1510 and is on display in the Vatican. The copy in Cabell Hall was completed by George W. Breck in 1900 and was presented to the University in 1902 through the gift of an anonymous alumnus. It is four inches off scale from the original, because the Vatican would not allow identical reproduction of its art works. Breck's copy is the second copy of "The School of Athens" owned by the University. The first, executed by a painter named Balze, was destroyed when the Rotunda annex burned in 1895. The Skinner Organ in the auditorium was a gift from Andrew Carnegie in 1906 and was dedicated during a recital by Samuel Baldwin on March 18, 1907.
The front of Cabell Hall features a pediment sculpture that is an allegory based on John 8:23 that states, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." It was executed by George Julian Zolnay ca. 1898.
The building was inaugurated in June of 1898. James C. Carter gave the inaugural address and Armistead C. Gordon read a poem he wrote for the occasion.
To complement George Breck's copy of the "School of Athens" inside the Auditorium, an 11-panel mural was installed in June 2000 in the lobby of Old Cabell Hall. "The Student's Progress," painted by Lincoln Perry depicts a young woman's journey at U.Va., complete with its ups and downs. For more information on the mural, go to virginia.edu/mural/.
Take a virtual tour of the Old Cabell Hall stage. (Quicktime needed to see video)
View the Old Cabell Hall seating chart to see where seats are in relationship to the stage.
Find directions & parking to in the area, as well as handicap parking.
Old Cabell Hall Auditorium can be reserved for concerts. See Booking Rules & Fees for information on how to schedule an event.