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William Byrd Community House (Grace Arents Free Library)

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Grace Arents Free Library
1908–1914, Noland and Baskervill. 1947, conversion. 224 S. Cherry St.
  • William Byrd Community House (Grace Arents Free Library) (Virginia Division of Historic Resources)

Built by Grace Arents as a library for the community, this is now also a community center for inner-city Richmond. Instead of simply following the cue of the St. Andrew's complex across the street, the building is an important essay in Collegiate Gothic, which was gaining popularity at educational institutions in the North. The basic block of the building is simple, with large, clustered windows. The major element is the entrance, distinguished by its stylized Gothic ornament. Some of the curves in the carving are reminiscent of those found in Art Nouveau design. In 1947 a portion of the building was converted into a community house; a library for children is maintained in one wing. The brick structure next door, at 223 South Cherry (1903, Noland and Baskervill), is the former house for the teachers and administrators at St. Andrew's School.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "William Byrd Community House (Grace Arents Free 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, 240-240.

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