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Eastern Virginia Medical Center

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1966, master plan, Vincent Kling and Associates. Site bounded by Colley Ave., Brambleton Ave., and Redgate Ave.
  • Eastern Virginia Medical Center
  • Eastern Virginia Medical Center
  • Eastern Virginia Medical Center

Norfolk's attempt to refashion itself as a modern city in the decades following World War II included a state-of-the-art medical center. Not until construction of the Norfolk Civic Center was underway in the early 1960s did the city turn its attention to the southwest corner of Ghent, where it adjoined Atlantic City, a rundown residential neighborhood slated for demolition. Norfolk General Hospital and the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters already occupied the site, but the most ambitious part of the proposal, the creation of a new medical school to serve southeastern Virginia, was a political and economic undertaking virtually without precedent. The city commissioned Vincent Kling, who was designing the Norfolk Civic Center, to devise a master plan for the medical center that would coordinate with redevelopment efforts underway in Ghent. Kling devised a 51-acre campus that accommodated the two hospitals and future expansion, a new city public health center, an existing medical tower Kling had designed in 1961, a campus for the proposed medical school, and the realignment of Colley Avenue, a major north-south thoroughfare. Kling's plan took shape gradually over the next decade as the city demolished dozens of buildings and reconfigured the surrounding streets. The need for surface parking has prevented the campus from developing a central focus thus far. Political wrangling between state and city officials delayed the opening of the medical school until 1973. Kling designed Lewis Hall (1975–1978), the school's first building, and the adjacent Jones Institute for Fertility Research (1990–1992). The former is a rather straightforward International Style building, while the latter has a more boldly expressionistic curving glass facade. Abutting Lewis Hall to the north and west, the Edward E. Brickell Medical Sciences Library (1998–2000, Tymoff and Moss), with its tholos-like entrance, represents a postmodern departure for the campus. By contrast, Hofheimer Hall (1981–1985, Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum) is a rather sedate essay in late modernism. What was once a redevelopment gamble has proven to be a financial success, with new construction underway to expand the medical center across Brambleton Avenue to the south.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Richard Guy Wilson et al.
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Citation

Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Eastern Virginia Medical Center", [Norfolk, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VA-01-NK82.

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 434-434.

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