Part II: “Today”
Even 100 years after its construction, Lee Hall continues to serve as the main focal point of the Assembly. The building, which still lacks central heating or air conditioning, remains open for lodging and meeting spaces only in the summer months. Currently Lee Hall, with a maximum capacity of 396 people, has 146 rooms: 57 rooms with two single beds and private bath, 17 rooms with four sets of bunk beds, and 72 dormitory-style rooms with two single beds and central bath on the hall.
In addition to rustic, seasonal lodging, Lee Hall also provides several office and meeting spaces. In the basement level are the “Paul Grist Room” and the “George Williams Room,” which can accommodate up to 125 people, while the first floor levels has the smaller “Founders Room” and “Clark Room.” However, the building’s largest and most popular gathering space is the expansive 4,400 square foot lobby, which is currently decorated with mission-style furniture from Tyson Furniture, a Black Mountain establishment since 1946. Several portraits of historical figures (including President Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee, the buildings namesake) by the early 20th century artist Henry Kirke Bush-Brown hang on the lobby’s walls. Lastly, above the large stone fireplace is a painting of Jesus Christ, reminding visitors and staff of the Assembly’s strong Christian origin’s, commitment to religious values, and the overall beauty of God’s creation.
Today Lee Hall is the epicenter of the Assembly’s summer conferences. For eight weeks a year, Lee Hall accommodates large national youth conferences such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and well known regional Y leadership conferences like the Blue Ridge Leaders School, Youth Conference on National Affairs, and the High School and Jr. High School Christian Values Conferences, all which the Assembly has been hosting for decades.
Lastly, it is the famous green rocking chairs on the porch of Lee Hall that continue to be an icon of the Blue Ridge spirit and its peaceful mountain setting. Ask any summer guest his/her favorite spot at Blue Ridge, and the answer will surely include Lee Hall – either the majesty of the building itself or its inspiring view of the Blue Ridge mountains which continue to bring back memories, year after year.
Coming soon…Lee Hall, Part III: “Tomorrow”