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Catherine Burrow Refectory

Originally constructed in 1925, the Catherine Burrow Refectory at Rhodes College has earned its place on the National Historic Register. Over time, expansions to accommodate growing enrollment turned it into a complicated space, whimsically nicknamed "the Rat" by students. Now a blend of tradition and modernity has revitalized the iconic dining hall, creating a vibrant dining experience that aligns with the architectural heritage of campus.

The addition of an 18,000-square-foot extension and thoughtful renovations have reimagined the refectory as a bustling marketplace servery, complete with diverse seating options. The transformation also redefines the original kitchen and oven flues into a cozy fireside lounge for casual dining. This renovation ensures that the new dining areas enhance the historical character of the original building and its storied dining halls. Today, the refectory is a prominent landmark on campus, where good food and lively conversations come alive in a space that elegantly bridges its historic roots with a distinctly contemporary flair.

“With good planning and a creative design, Hanbury transformed our dining facility into a highly functional and inviting dining environment where students also come to study and socialize.”

– Brian Foshee, Director of Physical Plant, Rhodes College

  • Sector: Higher Education
  • Scope: Architecture, Interior Design
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • 2012
  • 36,000 SF (renovation); 18,000 SF (addition)
  • Photos courtesy of © Robert Benson Photography
  • Merit Award for Architecture, AIA HR, 2015
Project Team
Jane Cady Rathbone
Jean Webster
Project Architect
MEP Engineering
Burr & Cole Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Civil and Structural Engineering
Worrell Design Group
Foodservice Consultant