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Commonwealth Club

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1891, Carrère and Hastings. Later renovations and additions. 401 W. Franklin St.

Set atop a grassy rise, the Commonwealth Club has long been a bastion of social tradition in Richmond. Its clubhouse, however, is a surprisingly inventive piece of architecture that shows off Beaux-Arts design at its best by combining Italian and French Renaissance and colonial American elements to create a totally fresh design. The central two-story block, which contains a Palladian arch on the first floor, is topped by a triple-arched loggia on the second floor. At first glance, the two flanking wings appear to be symmetrical, but the roof treatments differ radically. A two-tiered side porch on the east end provides a wonderful transitional zone between the building and its grounds.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Commonwealth Club", [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, 223-223.

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