The Model Tobacco Factory Complex was nominated under the Tobacco Warehouses in Richmond, Virginia, 1874-1963 Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPD), which notes that a variety of advances in tobacco storage and production facilities occurred throughout the twentieth century as a result of large-scale marketing, faster production, and the need to maintain proprietary blends. Throughout the early to mid-twentieth century, many tobacco companies transitioned from vertically designed, all-in-one building storage and production facilities common in the Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond, to separate, horizontally arranged storage and production facilities, often spread out over larger properties. Companies turned to the less congested Manchester area on Richmond’s south side for this purpose. The property was nominated under Criterion A in the area of Industry for its role in the evolution of large-scale tobacco production in Richmond and under Criterion C for the architecture and design of the complex, which illustrates the evolution of warehouse design to address evolving production concerns. The Model Tobacco Factory was also nominated under Criterion C, beyond the MPD, as locally significant, fine and harmonious examples of the Art Deco style, with elements of the International Style, at its factory building and power plant. Its significant design by Schmidt, Garden, and Erikson and highly visible setting has led to its admiration from the time of its construction into the twenty-first century. The period of significance for the Model Tobacco Factory extends from 1938, the start of construction, to 1952, the year the last tobacco warehouse was constructed.
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