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The National Theater

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1922, Claude K. Howell. 1997, restoration. 704 E. Broad St.

This solidly massed building, with a central four-story block and flanking two-story wings, was designed to incorporate mixed uses on Richmond's traditional main commercial thoroughfare. Shops at the sidewalk level and office spaces on upper levels encase a spectacular Adamesque auditorium that awaits a new use. The front is ornately detailed with a frieze of dancing nymphs, festive balconies, and ornate medallions. The refined decoration, inside and out, was designed by Richmonder Ferruccio Legnaioli. During the late 1990s the exterior of this spectacular Italian Renaissance Revival building was restored to its original sheen.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "The National Theater", [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, 189-189.

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