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Old Rockbridge County Jail

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1838–1839, Thomas U. Walter; 1923 addition. Courthouse Sq.
  • (Photograph by D Hughes)
  • (Photograph by D Hughes)

Walter, a nationally prominent Philadelphia architect, was asked to design the county's jail. He submitted a plan, and construction began the following year. The center section of the elegantly proportioned, brick, Federal building breaks forward to form a pediment before a low-hipped roof and is further accented by a round-arched doorway bearing a delicate fanlight, thus creating a domestic appearance appropriate since this section was the jailor's house. A stone section at the rear held the cells, which was extended in 1923. The building served as the county jail until 1989. By then it did not meet contemporary standards for housing inmates and in that year the county completed a new jail. The old jail served as the national headquarters of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity from 1990 to 2003, when it was sold back to the county. They sold it again in 2007 and it now serves as law offices.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Old Rockbridge County Jail", [Lexington, 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, 122-122.

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