Donnan-Asher Iron-Front Building

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Built in 1866 as part of the reconstruction of Richmond’s commercial area after the Evacuation Fire of 1865, the exuberant Donnan-Asher Iron-Front Building has one of only three completely cast-iron facades remaining in the city. It was built for the Donnan brothers, hardware merchants. The iron façade was popular at the time because it could provide maximum elaboration with minimal expense and construction time. Inspired by the Renaissance palaces of Venice, most of the iron façades were rendered in a rich Italianate style. The ironwork on this façade is attributed to George H. Johnson, an English architect who came to this country in 1851. The iron was produced by Hayward Bartlett & Co. of Baltimore, by whom Johnson was employed at the time. A 1960s shop-front mars the otherwise unaltered façade.

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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