Unlike other American campuses, Hampden-Sydney has a village character. The College and the village are merged and inseparable. Divisions between private property and College lands are not readily discernible in many cases. The campus plan proposes preserving the character of the street and extending the pattern of the eastern end of the streetscape, from College Road, westward through the core campus segment of the street.
This vision expresses what is probably the late 19th or early 20th Century development of the street, characterized by the following sequence of forms: a paved street surface, low curbs, a narrow band of lawn, a sidewalk of about six feet in width, and then the treed lawns fronting College buildings. There may be some who would suggest a more rustic, more aged treatment, but returning the street to a rural vision does not seem appropriate for a modern-day campus. The plan proposes that segments of the sidewalk, which appear to have been relatively recently moved to the very edge of the street (from Winston Hall westward), be relocated in accord with the older pattern.
Another design issue to be observed in establishing the Via Sacra Streetscape as a landscape entity will be the removal of parking between the street's curb and the College's building fronts. Lots between Eggleston and Gilmer and between Winston and the Maples intrude on the greenscape. These areas are recommended to be grassed, with screening shrubs planted at the new edges of the lots to further enhance the landscape. Parking displaced is easily made up by the proposed restructuring of the parking lots proposed for the present Physical Plant site.