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North Main Street Commercial Buildings

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c. 1880–c. 1930. 100–300 blocks of N. Main St.
  • Whitfield Building
  • Doyne Building
  • Doyne Building
  • Farmville Baptist Church
  • Farmville Baptist Church

All but two of the antebellum buildings on these blocks have been replaced by commercial buildings constructed between c. 1880 and c. 1930. In recent decades, furnishing outlets have occupied some of the stores as well as the warehouses, and the street has maintained a resilient commercial character despite suburban shopping development nearby. The Whitfield Building (c. 1860; 308 N. Main), a five-bay structure, has a common bond brick facade with second-story Greek Revival window heads below recessed panels. Its long shed roof is hidden by a bracketed wood and stucco cornice. Alterations have changed the first floor.

A number of picturesquely fronted buildings survive from the late nineteenth century, their residential second floors long since converted to offices or left vacant. The Doyne Building (1887; 140–142 N. Main) has the grandest and best-preserved facade with a pair of cast-iron storefronts produced by George L. Mesker and Company of Evansville, Indiana. The two upper stories of cream brick have segmental-arched window heads of red brick, a pressed-metal cornice, and a plaque announcing the name of the proprietors, managers of the town's principal funeral home for whites.

The Farmville Baptist Church at 132 N. Main began in the nineteenth century as Gothic Revival, but was refashioned in 1914 with a colossal six-bay Ionic portico. A small rose window is in the gable that rises above the portico's shallow pediment. The church's pointed-arched windows along the side walls were converted to round-headed ones and the brick building was stuccoed. The side rear tower has a mansard roof.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "North Main Street Commercial Buildings", [Farmville, 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, 266-266.

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