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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

127-0353 The Almshouse

The Almshouse
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 07/21/1981

NRHP Listing Date 10/29/1981

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NPS property number 81000647, 89001913

Built in 1860-61 as a place of refuge for the city’s white poor, the Richmond Almshouse is an impressive monument to the reform movement that originated in the antebellum period. Designed by Richmond city engineer Washington Gill, the Italianate structure replaced an older poorhouse built before 1810. Gill gave the new building a striking outline by using three pedimented pavilions. The Almshouse served during the Civil War as the first major hospital of the Confederacy and later as a temporary home for the Virginia Military Institute. The institutional use of the Almshouse eventually ceased, and the building was sold by the city for private development. It was renovated in 1984-85 to house apartments for low-income elderly residents. Included on the property is the 1908 west building, erected to house the city’s indigent blacks and also renovated for housing the elderly.

A 1989 boundary increase included the West Building, historically associated with the other three buildings on The Almshouse property. The main portion of the West Building appears to date from 1908. Its function was that of a charity hospital for African American residents of Richmond.
[VLR Listed: 5/15/1989; NRHP Listed: 6/13/1990]


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

Updated February 15, 2019