Hampton City Hall

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Constructed in 1938–39, the Art Deco Hampton City Hall served in that role until 1962, when it was converted for use as a juvenile courts and probation office for the city. The building, located in the Hampton Downtown Historic District, was designed by the Newport News architectural firm of Williams, Coile, and Pipino, and was built with funding from the Public Works Administration (PWA), as part of the New Deal program instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression. Hampton won funding from the PWA due to its great need for an appropriate facility, technical concerns for construction, and its ability to provide work for the unemployed. Most PWA projects in states founded by English settlers were designed in a Colonial-inspired style, and this building, with its Art Deco styling, was seen by many locals as inappropriate for a city with such deep colonial roots. The local newspaper even called the design “an unforgivable crime.” Despite the overall modern style, however, the Hampton City Hall building’s details include raised panels with images paying tribute to Hampton’s colonial history and economic connection to the water.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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

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