Gari Melchers Hall is named after Julius Garbaldi Melchers (1860-1932) who was a renowned artist in his time and painted for rich families around the U.S the Vanderbelts. Later in his life; Julius Melcher bought a mansion across the river from Fredericksburg where he and his wife lived. During this period of his life, the town attracted numerous luminaries from the world of art, literature, and finance as well as political notables, due to the closeness of the Melchers mansion. After he and his wife died, in 1932 and 1955 respectively, the University of Mary Washington was able to acquire their property, the Belmont Estate.(1)(2)
Gari Melchers Hall was built in 1951 along with Pollard Hall. These halls flank DuPont hall and help make up the circular base of the total halls. In 1990 these buildings underwent a renovation as it was previously described by students as a rathole and it was given 4.3 million dollars in order to renovate it.(due to the passage of a bond issue in 1994).(1)
(1) Crawley, William B. Jr. University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008. North Carolina: BW&A Books, Inc., 2008.
(2) “UMW Fine Arts Complex,” Historic Buildings of the University of Mary Washington homepage, Accessed March 13, 2020. http://buildings.umwblogs.org/umw-fine-arts-complex/