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The Huts (Rice House)

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Rice House
1919. 303 S. Franklin St.

Ethel Rice moved to Christiansburg after living in Rhodesia for many years with her late husband, William, a tobacco executive. Working with the town's builders to combine locally available architectural elements with African-inspired forms, she created the brick building known as The Huts. At the core of her unique residence is a conically roofed circular brick section of approximately twenty feet in diameter. Clustered around it are three smaller circular units positioned in the north, east, and south quadrants. Local features are the one-over-one windows and metal roof. From this fusion of Christiansburg and Rhodesian building practices emerged a remarkable work.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "The Huts (Rice House)", [Christiansburg, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 429-429.

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