You are here

Old Dominion Building, Virginia State Fairgrounds

-A A +A
1946, William Lawrence Bottomley, central fairgrounds area. Intersection of Laburnum Ave. and Richmond-Henrico Tpk.

The architect of this monumental, largely utilitarian building was better known for his academic Colonial Revival houses. The historic centerpiece of the present-day state fairgrounds, the Covered Ring, as Bottomley called it, was designed and built in 1946 for the Atlantic Rural Exposition, Inc., for $116,000. The structure is of brick, with a two-story oval exhibition space capped by a hipped roof with twin ventilators. The directors of the Atlantic Rural Exposition named a committee to landscape the Covered Ring and appointed Bottomley as one of its members. Charles Gillette was asked to serve as the landscape architect, but he was allocated a minimal budget. One concept given consideration was to establish demonstration gardens at the exhibit grounds, to be titled Gardens on Parade. Whether this concept was carried out is not known, for the Covered Ring's landscaping does not survive. Today the building rises from an asphalt and gravel parking lot, the home of the Richmond area's NASCAR franchise.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Old Dominion Building, Virginia State Fairgrounds", [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, 301-301.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.