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.
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Old Dominion Building, Virginia State Fairgrounds
1946, William Lawrence Bottomley, central fairgrounds area. Intersection of Laburnum Ave. and Richmond-Henrico Tpk.
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