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H. T. Klugel Architectural Sheet Metal Work Building

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1914. 135 E. Atlantic St.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

The north side of town, more commercial and industrial than the south side, boasts one of Virginia's most arresting commercial structures. No finer advertising scheme could be devised than this bold silver and black painted facade, bristling as it does with a rich display of the firm's sheet-metal decoration. In the center of the five large round-arched first-floor openings, the recessed entrance is flanked by metal lion's heads with foliated and circular ornamentation. Paneled pilasters sustain a cornice acting as a belt course below stacked, paneled piers. These support an elaborate parapeted cornice and also frame side panels with bellflower swags below panels advertising "CORNICES" and "SKYLIGHTS" and outline the bold central sign, "ARCHITECTURAL SHEET METAL WORK," with keystoned bull's eyes. Above the dentil-and-modillion cornice, the balustrade with onion-dome finials flanks panels with the 1902 date of foundation and the 1914 date of the building's construction that, in turn, frame the manufacturer's proud name, "H. T. KLUGEL." Rising even farther, consoles flank piers outlining a fan motif below a pediment with yet another onion-dome finial. Klugel's building displays his ability to do almost anything in his workshop, a beehive of high-quality custom work shipped far and wide.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee
Anne Carter Lee

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