Old City Hall

1001 E Broad St Richmond

VAMONDE Richmond
Written By VAMONDE Richmond

Old City Hall

Old City Hall, formerly known as City Hall, was the administrative building for Richmond. It served as City Hall from its completion in 1894 through the 1970s. Bounded by 10th and 11th Streets to the north and Capitol and East Streets to the south, it occupies a whole city block in downtown Richmond. The building is Gothic Revival style and was designated a National Historic Landmark for its architecture in 1971, which represents the pride in democracy of the people of Richmond. Dominated by two large asymmetrical towers, the Broad Street façade of the building is reminiscent of the town halls in Belgian cities. The stone exterior is detailed with buttresses and pointed arches.

What’s unique about the structure is that almost all of the granite was quarried from the James River. Additionally, during a time of intense racial tension, the construction of Old City Hall brought Whites and African Americans together, which was a pretty tremendous feat. It’s not just the history that attracts people to Old City Hall, but the stunning interior, an impressive skylighted central court surrounded by arcaded galleries. Despite two proposals to demolish it, Old City Hall is still standing. Saving the building was a significant preservation victory, and the rehabilitation in the early 1980s returned it to its former glory. Currently, the building houses various state offices. The beauty of it is worth a stop—it's a stunning Instagram backdrop.

Cover image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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