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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

124-5089 The Circle *Delisted

The Circle
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/07/2005

NRHP Listing Date 03/08/2006

NRHP Reference Number 06000120

Delisted from VLR on 09/15/2016

Delisted from NRHP on 02/21/2017

Built as a curb-service restaurant in 1947 in Portsmouth and later expanded, The Circle features a circle-shaped front façade with a neon sign on its roof. Designed in the Moderne style, which emphasizes curved surfaces and horizontal lines, the building’s original circular portion housed a main dining area and bar. A mural behind the bar, in the style of the era’s popular illustrator Al Hirschfeld, shows caricatures of celebrities from the mid-20th century. The Circle, a rare example of Moderne architecture in Portsmouth, reflects the surging popularity and importance of the automobile in American culture in the years immediately following World War II.

The restaurant closed in 2008, and the building was demolished in August 2013.


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


Updated: January 17, 2019