Newport News Public Library

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


Located on the corner of an intersection in the old downtown, the Newport News Public Library was the first building constructed for use as a public library in Newport News. Built in 1929, and opened at the start of the Great Depression, the library was designed by noted Virginia architect Charles M. Robinson, and was among his last projects prior to his death in 1932. The exterior of the building is red brick laid in Flemish bond and trimmed in white-painted wood. Rectangular and in the form of a modified crucifix, the building has a symmetrical façade, dormers, cupola, portico, cornices, broken pediments, and symmetrically placed chimneys, which are all hallmarks of its mix of Georgian Revival and Colonial Revival styles. It retains good historic integrity and at the time of its listing in the registers, the renamed West Avenue Library continued to serve its original use. Among the first public establishments in the city to be integrated, the library was opened to African Americans beginning in 1952. The Newport News Public Library is also significant for its association with the civil rights movement in Newport News.

Last Updated: February 19, 2024

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

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

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


Newport News Downtown Historic District

Newport News (Ind. City)


Walker-Wilkins-Bloxom Warehouse Historic District

Newport News (Ind. City)


Basic Construction Building

Newport News (Ind. City)