Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

043-0715 Markel Building

Markel Building
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/15/2016

NRHP Listing Date 05/17/2017

NPS property number SG100000984

The Markel Building, a distinctive local landmark, is also one of the more unusual office buildings in Virginia. Designed in Neoexpressionist style, the office building was commissioned by brothers Lewis and Irvin Markel of the Markel Insurance Corporation in 1964 and completed in 1966. For their ambitious project, the Markel brothers specifically chose controversial local architect Haigh Jamgochian because they sought an unusual, eye-catching building and had been impressed by Jamgochian’s previous design for an unbuilt but widely published Richmond apartment building known as The Treehouse. Jamgochian only had two of his designs ever built, of which the Markel Building is the only one extant; the other, known as the “Moon House,” was demolished in 2005. Clad in sheets of crimpled aluminum, the Markel building rises three cantilevered stories above an open ground-level oval parking deck. The Markel Building still retains much of its material integrity, although original interior doors have been replaced.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated September 25, 2019