The famed Virginia State Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson with the assistance of the French architect Charles Louis Clerisseau. Inspired by the Maison Carree, a Roman temple in Nimes, France, which Jefferson later visited, the building marks the beginning of America’s Classical Revival movement. Begun in 1785, the Capitol became the home of the General Assembly of Virginia after the removal of the seat of government from Williamsburg. The building served as the meeting place of the Confederate Congress during the Civil War. Wings and hyphens designed by a team of architects headed by J. Kevan Peebles and William C. Noland were added in 1906 to provide larger chambers. Still in use, the Capitol is the home of the oldest legislative assembly in the western hemisphere. The Capitol Square grounds were laid out in the 1850s by Philadelphia landscape architect John Notman.
Additional documentation was drafted in 2004 to update the details in the original nomination of the Capitol of Virginia building. This included information on changes to the building since the earlier nomination was written in the late 1960s.
[VLR Accepted: 6/16/2004; NRHP/NHL Accepted: 6/17/2005]
A 2016 updated National Historic Landmarks nomination accounts for the buildings, structures, objects, and sites included in the Virginia State Capitol boundaries. Within the grounds of Capitol Square stand the Virginia Governor’s Mansion, the Bell Tower, the Virginia Washington Monument, and a collection of commemorative statues.
[NHL Approved: 12/23/2016]
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