The seven-story Helena Building is Norfolk's most lavishly ornamented Renaissance Revival skyscraper, resembling an overscaled Genoese palazzo. Much of the terra-cotta ornamentation has been removed from the ground level, but on the second floor, balconies supported by consoles and enclosed by balustrades project from windows with engaged Roman Doric columns and segmental pediments. Similar details appear on the fifth floor, but the cornice unfortunately has been removed.
The Helena Building was built as the clubhouse and office building for the Virginia Club, a social organization founded in 1873. The club's officers organized an architectural competition. Local entrants were John Kevan