Phyllis Wheatley YWCA Building

Building Documentation and Scanning
Historic Building Renovation
Historic Research
Historic Resource Documentation

The Phyllis Wheatley YWCA Building


Norfolk, VA


Work Program Architects

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Project Goals

The Phyllis Wheatley YWCA Building, formerly the Mary F. Ballentine Home for the Aged, is located on the campus of Norfolk State University.

This resource’s long, storied history began in 1896 when it was erected and evolved over time until the YWCA’s branch closed in 1974. CPG was hired to conduct the research to document that history and to evaluate whether the building could be eligible for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register as well as the National Register of Historic Places.

Project Design

CPG's research focused on local repositories and online resources that documented the significance of the resource in Norfolk's social history.

Source material included historic images, newspapers, Sanborn maps, dissertations, and journal articles that chronicled the many ways in which this safe haven boosted the lives of Norfolk’s women and African American women in particular. Ultimately, this research was compiled into thoroughly written Eligibility Evaluation & Architectural Survey memo and submitted to VDHR.

Challenges & Accomplishments

The Phyllis Wheatley YWCA building is an aging resource whose contributions to Norfolk's history are far reaching.

CPG found the resource to be eligible based on its architectural significance and its contributions to both women’s social history and African American history in Norfolk.