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Pembroke Towers

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1960–1962, Paul and Jarmul with Leavitt and Associates. 601 Pembroke Ave.
  • Pembroke Towers (Richard Guy Wilson)

These two buildings initiated a brief craze in the early 1960s for high-rise apartment living that threatened to transform Norfolk into a small-scale copy of Arlington, Virginia. They are situated at opposite ends of the south bank of the Hague, a small, curving inlet of the Elizabeth River, and they stand like sentinels in front of the low-scale, historic neighborhood of Ghent to the north. Pembroke Towers, a single building with a plural name, is a thirteen-story, Y-shaped skyscraper designed in the International Style. The exterior is clad in a buffcolored brick, and the underlying concrete frame is revealed at each level by boldly cantilevered balconies. Hague Towers is also saddled with a plural name, but in this case it refers to a second tower that was never built; by the late 1960s, the high-rise residential real estate market had softened. At twenty stories, it was the tallest apartment building in Virginia when it opened its doors in 1965. The International Style design assumes a slab shape, with the reinforced concrete frame fully exposed. The shorter ends of the slab are sheathed in brick, and the longer sides are enlivened by cantilevered balconies, ribbon windows, and brick panels.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Pembroke Towers", [Norfolk, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 432-433.

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