Commonwealth Preservation Group

Chatham Elementary School, Chatham, VA


Chatham Elementary School, after


Chatham Elementary School, before

Chatham Elementary School is a massive, Colonial Revival Style building constructed in 1925. The structure was expanded in 1964, resulting in over 27,000 square feet of space, which fell into disuse after the construction of a modern school. The building lay vacant until 2012, when a developer initiated a large scale renovation project and contacted CPG to serve as tax credit consultants.

Today, the former elementary school has been converted in senior apartments. The historic slate roof, which had been edging toward disrepair, was completely restored. Existing windows were kept and mended, further maintaining the building’s historic integrity. Features unique to the building were showcased: classroom cabinets, once used for schoolbooks and supplies, will now be used as storage within new apartments, and wherever possible, old blackboards remain upon the walls. Each new apartment was carefully configured within an individual classroom.

The state and federal tax credit programs help incentivize the rescue of unused historic buildings like Chatham Elementary. The former school now once again provides a tangible community benefit.

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