Mason’s Cottage Has Its Origins in the Arts

Posted: June 12, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Standing alongside Mason Pond on the Fairfax Campus is a one-room clapboard cottage trimmed in white and surrounded by colorful landscaping . Tiny in comparison to most of the buildings on campus, Cross Cottage looks like it belongs in a wooded glen rather than on the grounds of one of the largest universities in Virginia.

Constructed by Cross Builders and other Northern Virginia builders, Cross Cottage represents the local building industry’s contributions to the arts at Mason. It was donated to Mason as the main auction item for the 1988 Arts Gala.


All the labor, site preparation and materials were provided by the builders and other George Mason Fund for the Arts donors. The donors presented the building to Mason, commemorating arts patrons and gala committee members in their efforts to foster the university’s cultural growth.

The cottage can be booked through Events Management for special events. For example, during Mason’s Ten-Minute Play Festival last May, a student used Cross Cottage to host a reception for friends and family prior to the presentation of his original play.

On one occasion the College of Visual and Performing Arts used Cross Cottage as the backdrop for a photo shoot. The cottage has also been used for poetry readings, weddings, chamber music recitals and other activities associated with the visual and performing arts.

At other times, the cottage site, with its granite benches facing the pond, serves simply as a peaceful oasis from which to view Mason Pond, its fountain and natural surroundings.

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