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Old City Hall and Opera House

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1895. End of W. St. Clair St.

This elaborate two-story Italianate city hall also housed an opera house and a jail. The brick building is highlighted with a domed belfry at the corner, an elaborate pressed-metal pediment over a bold name and date tablet, triple round-arched windows lighting the auditorium on the second story, and pedimented windows in the one-bay shallow side pavilions. The central section of the first floor has a modest storefront beside two segmental-arched windows and the side pavilions have double doors below fanlights. Behind the building on W. Church Street the former Ahavath Chesed Synagogue (c. 1913) is a Romanesque Revivalinfluenced building fronted by a one-story arcaded portico with brick piers resting on a cast-stone low wall. Inside, a stairway on each side of the small lobby ascends to a small mezzanine and the spacious two-story sanctuary has a rear balcony.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Old City Hall and Opera House", [Pocahontas, 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, 490-490.

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