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Richmond Public Library

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1930, 1972, Baskervill and Son. 101 E. Franklin St.

In a renovation reputedly inspired by the modernism of Edward Durrell Stone, architect of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Baskervill firm entombed Richmond's handsome Art Deco library inside a behemoth of glass and cast stone. What could they have been thinking of? The blocky, two-story exterior columns are short on gracefulness, but they do pick up the delightful rhythm of attached town houses of Linden Row across the street. Penetrate this forbidding exterior to find encased the original library building, a Greco-Deco structure. The original entrance hall, now the lobby of the art and music section, retains travertine walls and a plaster ceiling, testimony to a better time for architecture.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Richmond Public Library", [Richmond, 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, 221-221.

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