You are here

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce (Norfolk Academy)

-A A +A
Norfolk Academy
1840–1841, Thomas U. Walter. 1970–1972, renovation, Leavitt Associates. 420 Bank St.
  • Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce (Norfolk Academy)
  • Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce (Norfolk Academy)

The Norfolk Academy, founded in 1786, had by the early nineteenth century outgrown its original frame building on Church Street (now St. Paul's Boulevard). In 1840, the building committee, headed by Christopher Hall, commissioned Thomas U. Walter of Philadelphia to design a new building on land near the city's northern border. Although Walter never visited Norfolk, this was the first of several projects in the city to which he devoted his attention.

Walter preferred to design in the Greek Revival mode, and, given the classical foundations of American pedagogy in the nineteenth century, this style was considered to be especially appropriate for educational buildings. The building takes the form of a pseudo-peripteral Doric temple, with double-height porticoes at the east and west ends. Six unfluted columns support plain pediments, and an alternating rhythm of simple pilasters and recessed windows articulates the side walls. The brick construction is disguised by a stucco finish, coursed to resemble ashlar. In general, the building's early classical proportions recall the Temple of Hera II at Paestum (c. 450 B.C.), one of the best preserved of all ancient Greek temples.

The academy moved to a new campus in 1915, and for many years the building served the Norfolk Juvenile Court. A renovation in the early 1970s restored the exterior of the building to near its original appearance, but the interior was completely modernized.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Richard Guy Wilson et al.
×

Data

What's Nearby

Citation

Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce (Norfolk Academy)", [Norfolk, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VA-01-NK43.

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 418-418.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,