Commonwealth Preservation Group

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Aspen Lawn, Southampton County

 

Aspen Lawn, Southampton County, VA | Before

Aspen Lawn, Southampton County, VA | Before

Aspen Lawn, Southampton County, VA | After

Aspen Lawn, Southampton County, VA | After

At the beginning of an extensive project begun in 1997, Aspen Lawn was uninhabitable. The early nineteenth century home had been vacant since the 1960s, and although it had been ‘patched’ multiple times, it was never updated. Descendants of the house’s original owners renovated the dwelling, rebuilding three walls of the crumbling foundation, replacing rotting wood and torn plaster, and installing a modern kitchen, bathrooms, electricity, and HVAC. The front porch was reconstructed using historic photos and ghost lines on the dwelling’s weatherboard siding. Utilizing state tax credits, owners were able to completely transform the Federal/Greek Revival-inspired home.

207 Tazewell Avenue, Cape Charles, VA

207 Tazewell Avenue Cape Charles, VA | Before

207 Tazewell Avenue Cape Charles, VA | Before

207 Tazewell Avenue, Cape Charles, VA | After

207 Tazewell Avenue, Cape Charles, VA | After

This early twentieth century beach rental cottage was in need of significant repairs and updating when the project began in 2010.   The project included reopening the side porch, which had been enclosed in the 1970s, and the recreation of the historic stairs based upon historic remnants. This project is a good example of the issues involved with both updating a property to meet modern code requirements while also retaining, or even restoring, historic elements. State and Federal credits were used for this income producing property and the project was completed in 2011.

Gloucester Downtown Historic District, Gloucester, VA

Gloucester Downtown Historic District, Gloucester, VA | Bank

Gloucester Downtown Historic District, Gloucester, VA | Bank

The Downtown Gloucester Historic District is located in Gloucester Court House village in the middle of Gloucester County, Virginia. Gloucester Court House village has been the administrative center of Gloucester County since at least the time of the 1766 construction of the third county courthouse and the official 1769 establishment of the Town of Botetourt (modern day Gloucester Court House village). The focal point of the town development since before its legal creation has been the courthouse, which has existed at or near its current site since c.1680.

Gloucester Downtown Historic District, Gloucester, VA | Debtor's Prison

Gloucester Downtown Historic District, Gloucester, VA | Debtor’s Prison

The town has developed slowly over three centuries from a wealthy, completely agrarian population and economy to a small town today. After a slow recovery from the Civil War, industrialization and new forms of commerce brought more of the population into the central village of Gloucester Court House and led to a developmental expansion down Main Street beyond the original courthouse circle.

The overall population of the county has grown slowly through the second half of the twentieth century and as a result, the downtown area has maintained its historic character and not seen the huge declines and disruptive redevelopments of many downtown areas. The historic district was found significant under Criteria A, C and D for its development as a rural village and primary population center in Gloucester County from the Colonial period to the modern era, and for its architectural character and archaeological resources spanning the period from 1754 to 1960.

Phoebus Historic District Hampton, VA

Phoebus Historic District, Hampton, VA | Residential

Phoebus Historic District, Hampton, VA | Residential

The Phoebus Historic District is located within the city of Hampton, Virginia. Phoebus was originally an independent town within Elizabeth City County dating from 1874 to 1952. Elizabeth City County and the town of Phoebus were annexed to the city of Hampton in 1952.

Phoebus Historic District Hampton, VA | Commercial

Phoebus Historic District Hampton, VA | Commercial

The town developed from a 17th century settlement along Mill Creek, which was a navigable waterway providing access to the lands within Elizabeth City County. The town of Phoebus is located northwest of Old Point Comfort, which was a strategic military and port location on the north side of Hampton Roads from the 17th century until the present day, and which serves as the home of the 19th century Fort Monroe. The town grew during the Reconstruction period with the addition of a railroad line, streetcar line, commercial corridor, and supporting residential building. Its proximity to the ferries that operated from Old Point Comfort facilitated its growth and development. The opening of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel in 1957 was a watershed event for Phoebus resulting in the elimination of most traffic through the town and a halt to significant construction projects. As a result, the town and its architectural resources remain much as they were when the tunnel opened.

The historic district was found significant under Criteria A and C for its development as a town in Elizabeth City County during the Reconstruction period and for its town planning and architectural character from the period 1874 to 1957.

Portsmouth Catholic High School, Portsmouth, VA

Portsmouth Catholic High School 1898, Portsmouth, VA

Portsmouth Catholic High School 1898, Portsmouth, VA

Portsmouth Catholic High School almost became the subject of the first test case of RLUIPA. The property owner, Monumental Methodist Church, applied for approval to demolish the building to accommodate additional parking. The City of Portsmouth’s Commission of Architectural Review denied the application and a multi-year battle with the City ensued. The 1891 school had been enveloped on three sides by a 1957 addition, thus obscuring its historic architectural features. After agreeing to a compromise through binding arbitration, the City of Portsmouth became responsible for rehabilitation of the building, while the church was allowed parking on the rest of the site.

Through an RFP process, a developer was selected to rehabilitate the school using state and fe deral tax credits. CPG acted as consultant to the developer to ensure the overall rehabilitation project, including reconstruction of the missing bell tower, met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The project received the historic tax credits and the building is currently used as an architectural office; it is a gateway to one of the City’s most prestigious historic districts.

Portsmouth Catholic High School Portsmouth, VA | Before

Portsmouth Catholic High School Portsmouth, VA | Before

Portsmouth Catholic High School Portsmouth, VA | After

Portsmouth Catholic High School Portsmouth, VA | After

Southern Bagging Company Warehouse, Norfolk, VA

Southern Bagging Co. Warehouse Norfolk, VA | Before

Southern Bagging Co. Warehouse Norfolk, VA | Before

The Southern Bagging Company Building in Norfolk, VA was renovated for use as a commercial gym using both Virginia and Federal tax credits. The 45,000 square foot warehouse was individually listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places for its association with Norfolk’s industrial heritage. The building, constructed in 1918, was originally used for the manufacture and bagging of cotton products; most recently used as a restaurant, it was vacant but retained much of its industrial character.

Southern Bagging Co. Warehouse Norfolk, VA | After

Southern Bagging Co. Warehouse Norfolk, VA | After

As a result of the rehabilitation project, the warehouse was updated with modern systems, stairs and an elevator while retaining the historic heavy post and beam framing and other character defining industrial features within its three million dollar construction budget. As the tax credit consultant, CPG was responsible for coordinating the needs of the corporate gym owner with the requirements of the historic tax credit process in order to ensure that the character of the building was retained during the course of the rehabilitation.

Through continuous coordination with the architect and contractor, the project was completed on time and within the budget, and was recognized for its success as the only featured historic rehabilitation tax credit project in the November 2008 issue of Heritage News, an online publication of the National Park Service.

Mallonee School, Hopewell, VA

Mallonee School Hopewell, VA | Before

Mallonee School Hopewell, VA | Before

Schools were historically the center of each community or neighborhood however, as educational requirements change, they are often abandoned for more technologically advanced and larger buildings. Numerous communities have preserved and reused their historic schools as magnet schools, community centers and cultural centers. In some instances, when a public use is not identified, these schools have been turned over to the private sector for rehabilitation. These schools have been successfully converted into senior, affordable and market rate housing as well as artist space.

Mallonee School Hopewell, VA | After

Mallonee School Hopewell, VA      | After

CPG has consulted with both private and non-profit entities who have successfully reused historic schools to ensure their continued presence in the community landscape. We have also worked with several jurisdictions to get historically significant schools listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places.

The Mallonee School in Hopewell, VA had been vacant for several years before the City of Hopewell issued an RFP soliciting proposals for its reuse. Situated immediately adjacent to the high school football field, the property offered a prime opportunity for residential units. The building was converted to apartments while retaining the historic character of the school including chalkboards, classroom configuration and primary corridors.

Jones Building, Suffolk, VA

Jones Building Marquee Suffolk, VA | Before

Jones Building Marquee Suffolk, VA | Before

The Jones Building in Suffolk, VA originally housed four retail bays and a movie theater on the ground floor. A fire in the mid-1980’s nearly destroyed the building. The movie theater was burned to the ground, and made way for a surface parking lot behind the building. The theater lobby, which had been the central bay in the series of retail spaces, was opened to create a walkway through to the parking area. Fragments of the historic marquee remained, but were clad in vinyl and aluminum. The upper floors were converted to efficiency apartments and the building was deteriorating rapidly.

Jones Building Marquee Suffolk, VA | After

Jones Building Marquee Suffolk, VA | After

New owners acquired the building and undertook a complete restoration. The original theater lobby bay was reintroduced, the marquee reconstructed based on historic photographs, and the upper floor apartments were converted into luxury units. The first floor now houses five related retail and office suites, and the building continues to contribute to the character of the historic district.

Chevra T’helim, Portsmouth, VA

Chevra T'helim Portsmouth, VA | Before

Chevra T’helim Portsmouth, VA | Before

Chevra T’helim Synagogue was the vision of four Portsmouth families. Constructed c1918, it was the center of the Orthodox community in Portsmouth for decades. By the mid-1980s, the congregation had dwindled and the building was left vacant. After years of neglect, the Friends of Chevra T’helim purchased the building and completely rehabilitated it for use as a Jewish Museum and Cultural Center.

Chevra T'helim Portsmouth, VA | After

Chevra T’helim Portsmouth, VA | After

In order to offset the costs of the rehabilitation, the Friends group contracted with CPG to assist with obtaining historic tax credits. CPG worked with Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas & Co., the project architects, to ensure that building code and ADA requirements were met in a manner which did not detract from the historic building. The building remains an active part of Old Town Portsmouth and is open regularly for tours, lectures and musical events.

Byrd and Baldwin Brothers, Norfolk, VA

Byrd and Baldwin Brothers Steakhouse Norfolk, VA | Before

Byrd and Baldwin Brothers Steakhouse Norfolk, VA | Before

Now a favorite downtown Norfolk restaurant, this building suffered from a major fire prior to its restoration. The current owners are responsible for planning and implementing the entire project, which includes an attractive formal dining area, a basement level bar, and full restaurant kitchen in addition to a luxury condominium on the upper floor.

Byrd and Baldwin Brothers Steakhouse Norfolk, VA | After

Byrd and Baldwin Brothers Steakhouse Norfolk, VA | After

The fire gutted the interior, leaving few historic features intact, which allowed the owners to finish the space as they wished. Since the historic exterior was nearly unchanged, the owners undertook a meticulous restoration of the façade.

CPG assisted with the historic tax credit application, helping the owner to secure both state and federal credits.

Brewer Jewelry Company, Suffolk, VA

Brewer Jewelry Co. Suffolk, VA | After

Brewer Jewelry Co. Suffolk, VA | After

The Brewer Jewelry Company Building located on W. Washington Street in Suffolk, VA was renovated using historic rehabilitation tax credits, and completed in 2006. Built around the turn of the 20th century in the commercial style, the building located at 156 W. Washington Street housed several businesses during the 20th century.

Brewer Jewelry Co. Suffolk, VA | Before

Brewer Jewelry Co. Suffolk, VA | Before

At an unknown date, the entire façade was clad in synthetic stone and stucco, covering the historic windows and details which gave the building its character. During the course of the project, the developer removed the modern cladding and restored the historic character defining features on both the interior and exterior of the building. The two story building was then converted into a restaurant on the first floor with an office above.

This owner received over $100,000 in state tax credits and over $80,000 in federal tax credits to offset the cost of this renovation. This building also spurred adjacent property owners to undertake tax credit rehabilitation projects on five other buildings in the 100 block of W. Washington Street to date.

417 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA

417 Prince Street Alexandria, VA | Before

417 Prince Street Alexandria, VA | Before

The Virginia Historic Rehabilitation tax credits are available to non-income producing properties, such as private homes. Homeowners hire CPG to guide them through project planning and, as necessary, work with the architect and contractor to develop designs which meet client needs and tax credit program requirements, prior to undertaking renovation of their historic homes.

417 Prince Street Alexandria, VA | After

417 Prince Street Alexandria, VA | After

CPG’s list of completed private residential projects extends to most regions of Virginia and represents a range of house types and project budgets. An example of an ongoing residential rehabilitation tax credit project we are working on in Alexandria is the private residence located at 417 Prince Street. The property owner acquired the residence in 1997, and has been able to use the Virginia Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit to offset 25% of the cost of updating the dwelling.

201 Linden Avenue, Suffolk, VA

201 Linden Ave Suffolk, VA | Before

201 Linden Ave Suffolk, VA | Before

201 Linden Ave Suffolk, VA | After

201 Linden Ave Suffolk, VA | After

 

This property was in poor condition at the outset of this project. Though it had been partially renovated by the previous property owner, major work was still required in order to properly restore the dwelling. CPG worked to ensure that the next phase of rehabilitation work enhanced the historic character of the dwelling. A major renovation of a modern garage and complete landscaping were also a part of this project; all of the work was undertaken in a way which complimented the historic house.

The dwelling was on the 2008 Historic Garden Week tour sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia.

Historic Warehouse Survey, Tidewater, VA

Virginia Ice & Freezing Co., Norfolk, VA

Virginia Ice & Freezing Co., Norfolk, VA

Commonwealth Preservation Group was contracted in the Summer of 2008 to survey and identify potentially eligible historic warehouses and industrial buildings within the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. The purpose of the survey was to identify potential prospects for acquisition and renovation by a local developer and construction company.

Southern Bagging Co. Warehouse, Norfolk, VA

Southern Bagging Co. Warehouse, Norfolk, VA

Using historic mapping and aerial photography, key buildings were identified. Preliminary site visits were undertaken to assess certain buildings, and the remaining buildings were vetted against the existing information at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. The lack of remaining evidence of historic industrial buildings in this area is disheartening, however it makes the remaining buildings that much more valuable. One key factor in evaluating potential eligibility for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places is the relative rarity of resource type within its context.

Based on the information in this document and site visits, selected buildings have and will continue to be identified for further study.

Fredericksburg, VA Local Historic District Analysis, Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc.

Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. Local District Consulting

Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. Local District Consulting

In response to several highly controversial decisions by the Architectural Review Board, as well as a resulting court case, the City of Fredericksburg, VA undertook a comprehensive analysis of their historic review ordinance, design guidelines, policies and procedures. The review was conducted by a City-appointed committee which included the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. (HFFI).

HFFI hired CPG to assist in their review of the existing policies, as well as analysis of other programs around the Commonwealth. CPG advised Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. and provided assistance to their staff and board in evaluating recommended improvements to the local historic review ordinance and procedures.

Recommendations for improvement were made to HFFI regarding the City of Fredericksburg design guidelines, ordinance language, policies and procedures which were incorporated into the overall committee recommendations.

Hampton Historic District, Hampton, VA

Downtown Hampton Historic District, Hampton, VA

Downtown Hampton Historic District, Hampton, VA

The Downtown Hampton Historic District is located on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. Before any English settlement was created, however, the general area of Hampton, Virginia was home to a substantial native Kecoughtan village. Hampton itself has its roots in the earliest English settlements at the beginning of seventeenth century Virginia, and is often called the oldest continuous English-speaking settlement in America. Elizabeth City County was officially created in 1634, while the town of Hampton was formed in 1705.

Downtown Hampton Historic District, Hampton, VA | Courthouse

Downtown Hampton Historic District, Hampton, VA | Courthouse

Downtown Hampton has been an active port since the end of the seventeenth century when the colonial assembly ordered a port be built there in 1691 and laid out the plat for the original crossroads of King and Queen Streets in the same year. This crossing point represents one of the earliest examples of town planning in America and has been the focal point of downtown Hampton since the Colonial period. Hampton began its history as one of the most important coastal cities in America, but the War of 1812, the burning of the city at the outset of the Civil War, and another substantial fire in 1884 greatly hampered development.

Hampton did not begin to develop as a city until the late nineteenth century with Reconstruction, and as a result most of the buildings date from this period through the mid-twentieth century. In 1952 Elizabeth City County, Phoebus, and the town of Hampton merged to form the City of Hampton, beginning the modern era for the city. The historic district was found significant under Criteria A, C, and D as a very early example of Colonial era town planning, for its development as a town from the Colonial period to the modern era, and for its architectural character and archaeological resources spanning the period from 1691 to 1952.

Virginia Trunk and Bag Company, Petersburg, VA

Virginia Trunk & Bag Company, Petersburg, VA

Virginia Trunk & Bag Company, Petersburg, VA

The Virginia Trunk and Bag Co. is a large and evolved manufacturing complex constructed in several phases between 1903 and c1931 as the trunk manufacturing business evolved on site. The buildings and additions most typically represent early twentieth century industrial architecture. The exteriors and interiors have a high level of integrity with most of the original details and features intact. The buildings and structures in the complex represent the trunk manufacturing process in its entirety from raw lumber to completed product.

Virginia Trunk & Bag Company, Petersburg, VA

Virginia Trunk & Bag Company, Petersburg, VA

The Virginia Trunk and Bag Co. was established in Petersburg in 1898. In the early twentieth century Petersburg claimed to be the leading trunk and valise manufacturing city in the world and the Virginia Trunk and Bag Co. was one of the largest trunk manufacturers in the city during that period. Between 1916 and 1931 the site was also the headquarters for the American Hardware Company, which was the parent company for at least six different trunk makers in Petersburg, representing the majority of trunk manufacturing in Petersburg at that time.

The Virginia Trunk and Bag Co. was found significant under Criterion A (Industry) as one of the most important properties strongly linked with the development of the huge trunk manufacturing industry in Petersburg. It is also eligible under Criterion C (Architecture) as one of the most intact and best preserved of the remaining trunk manufacturing facilities.

R.L. Stone House, Bassett, VA

R.L. Stone House, Bassett, VA

R.L. Stone House, Bassett, VA

The R.L. Stone house is a nearly pristine example of the Classical Revival style located in Henry County, Virginia on its original nearly three acre site. The house is highlighted by a prominent full height entry porch and pediment supported by four colossal two story columns with Egyptian papyrus style capitals. The exterior and interior of the house retain most of the original details and features.

R.L. Stone House, Bassett, VA

R.L. Stone House, Bassett, VA

The house was built by Reed Lewis Stone and his wife, Nancy Susan “Dink” Stone. R.L. Stone was one of the four founders of Bassett Furniture. Bassett Furniture was one of the most important furniture companies of the twentieth century and one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the world. Stone was also the largest builder in Bassett during his lifetime.

The house was found significant under Criterion B (significant person) because of its strong link to one of the founders of Bassett Furniture. It is also significant under Criterion C (Architecture) as an excellent example of large scale Classical Revival house design in the region. The house represents the success of R.L. Stone and Bassett Furniture and the prominent place of both within the community.

Hylton Hall, Danville, VA

Hylton Hall, Danville, VA | Textile School

Hylton Hall, Danville, VA | Textile School

Hylton Hall is a large, six-story Classical Revival building constructed in 1918 and designed by the firm of Heard, Cardwell & Craighill. It served as a hotel-style dormitory for single female workers of The Riverside & Dan River Cotton Mills, Incorporated (Dan River Mills) which began in 1882 and was one of the largest cotton mills in the country by the early twentieth century. Hylton Hall continued as a residential facility until 1948 when it was converted to offices. The interior and exterior are intact and retain most of their original appearance and character. There is also a c1928 one-story shop building on the site which was formerly used by the occupants of Hylton Hall.

Hylton Hall, Danville, VA

Hylton Hall, Danville, VA

The building served as a dormitory, dining facility, social hall, and recreation center—this fit well into the new concept of factory management which mill president H.R. Fitzgerald wanted to bring to Dan River Mills: Industrial Democracy. The building is closely associated with mill related welfare projects in Danville in the first quarter of the twentieth century and is indicative of the approach to housing and workforce development during the era that the building operated as a dormitory.

Hylton Hall was found significant under Criterion A (Social History) and Criterion C (Architecture). The building is representative of architect-designed Classical Revival style and one of only a few large scale examples of this style in the area.

Ivy Hill Cemetery, Smithfield, VA

Ivy Hill Cemetery, Smithfield, VA

Ivy Hill Cemetery, Smithfield, VA

Ivy Hill Cemetery was created in 1886 as a private cemetery to serve the residents of Smithfield and Isle of Wight County. The land was originally part of the T.B. Wright farm until it was laid out as a cemetery along the slopes of a small peninsula of land overlooking the Pagan River.

Ivy Hill Cemetery, Smithfield, VA

Ivy Hill Cemetery, Smithfield, VA

The roughly fourteen acre cemetery utilizes a plan which flows with the existing curves and rolls of the land. Grave markers vary from quite simple early examples to more detailed and articulated styles. Many of the leading citizens of area are buried at Ivy Hill, including some mid-nineteenth century graves which were moved to the cemetery when it first opened.

It has been, and continues to be, the burial ground for many of the area’s prominent citizens. The cemetery was found significant under Criterion C (Landscape Architecture) as a fine example of a local cemetery influenced by the earlier “rural” cemetery movement, and Criterion Consideration D (Cemetery) because of its gravesites of persons of local and regional importance.

Central High School, Painter, VA

Central High School, Painter, VA

Central High School, Painter, VA

Central High School was constructed in two phases between 1932 and 1935 by the father and son team of J.W. Hudson and J.W. Hudson, Jr. Both phases of the building are Art Deco in design and are built to blend visually and functionally as one building. The Art Deco style was common for American schools in the 1930s.

Central High School, Painter, VA | Vocational School

Central High School, Painter, VA | Vocational School

The primary building is of brick masonry construction with stone details at its main entrances. The building is two stories in height and is an imposing structure just off of the state highway between the towns of Painter and Keller. There are three contributing outbuildings which served as extra classroom space, a vocational school, and a home economics classroom.

Central served as the first consolidated high school for the county from its construction in 1932 until it became a middle school in 1984, representing a vital part of the community and its education for much of the twentieth century. It retains a strong level of historic and architectural integrity and was found significant under Criterion C (Architecture) as an excellent example of large scale Art Deco design and a rare example of the Art Deco style on the Eastern Shore. Its historic outbuildings and intact site also support the argument for a high level of architectural integrity.

Captain Timothy Hill House, Chincoteague, VA

Captain Timothy Hill House, Chincoteague, VA

Captain Timothy Hill House, Chincoteague, VA

The Captain Timothy Hill House is a rare surviving example of an early nineteenth century plank-wall house and possibly the oldest surviving house on Chincoteague Island. It is also one of the few surviving houses in Virginia which at one time had a wooden chimney. The house was owned by Timothy Hill during the early-to-mid-nineteenth century and it was during his ownership that the house gained the features which represent its current style and detailing.

Captain Timothy Hill House, Chincoteague, VA | Ship Carving

Captain Timothy Hill House, Chincoteague, VA | Ship Carving

The house was constructed using pit sawn and hewn pine planks secured at each corner with original dovetail joints. The house retains some historic flooring, interior wood trim, paint, chinking, two historic doors, and an historic mantle. There are over thirty nineteenth century carvings of ships on the exterior of the house. While simple outlines, the images accurately convey the details and proportions of period sailing vessels such as schooners and sloops.

The house was found to be significant under Criterion C (Architecture) as an extremely rare resource type. The house is well documented through local histories and records and represents an excellent example of early seafaring life on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

American Cigar Company, Norfolk, VA

American Cigar Company Extension, Norfolk, VA

American Cigar Company Extension, Norfolk, VA

The American Cigar Company consists of two buildings which remain from a stemmery complex originally constructed in 1903: the primary processing building and the boiler building. The resource is a good example of turn-of-the-century mill construction and Victorian industrial design.

American Cigar Company, Norfolk, VA

American Cigar Company, Norfolk, VA

Stemmeries were facilities where the stem was removed from the tobacco leaf prior to its manufacture into cigars. This stemmary was a large facility for the time and immediately established Norfolk as a notable city in the field of tobacco production. The facility was built near the railroad tracks for easy transportation. The facility was also built near to the poorer African American section of Norfolk for easy access to an inexpensive labor force, particularly African American women who represented most of the workforce for many years. It was the site of a failed but noteworthy Women Wage Earner’s Association (WWEA) strike in 1917, during WWI. The American Cigar Co. operated as a subsidiary of the larger American Tobacco Company.

The American Cigar Company was found to be significant under Criterion A (Industrial and Social History) and Criterion C (Architecture). The interior and exterior retain most of their original historic features and character resulting in strong historical integrity. The building is also closely associated with African American history as related to the women’s labor movement.

Moses Myers House, Norfolk, VA

Moses Myers House, Norfolk, VA

Moses Myers House, Norfolk, VA

The Moses Myers House is an outstanding example of a late nineteenth-century Federal home with a huge collection of original artifacts which includes: thousands of original documents and letters, several thousand books from the original library, a massive period sheet music collection, and a majority of the original art and furniture.

Moses Myers House, Norfolk, VA | Entry Hall

Moses Myers House, Norfolk, VA | Entry Hall

The house was home to the financially and politically prominent Myers family for five generations from its construction in the late nineteenth-century until 1931. Moses Myers and his new wife, Eliza, became the first documented Jewish residents of Norfolk in 1787 and built their house shortly thereafter. The Myers family’s role in Norfolk as Jews as well as leaders in business, government, and the community is the key to the historical context of the Myers family home. The Moses Myers house is an expression of the traditional culture and role of Jewish society in America from the earliest days of our nation’s history. Myers forged a new life in the otherwise uniformly Christian city of Norfolk while maintaining his status as a practicing Jew.

The Moses Myers House was found to be nationally significant under Criterion A in the area of Social History as the best surviving example of an early American Jewish home in the United States, while also possessing a high level of architectural integrity.