Thomas Jefferson High School

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A striking contrast to the spiritless architecture of today’s public schools, Thomas Jefferson High School is a celebration of education, a building redolent with civic pride. The last and largest Richmond school building designed by Charles M. Robinson, supervising architect of the Richmond Board of Public Instruction, Thomas Jefferson High School is also his masterpiece. An Art Deco vocabulary is employed for the decoration of the elevations which themselves have massing of classical monumentality. The detailing, particularly the sculptured busts of the central pavilion, is of the highest quality. Proclaimed to be the city’s largest and most modern public school when it opened in 1930, the building was designed to accommodate 2000 pupils and boasted a planetarium. Still an active school, Thomas Jefferson is a demonstration of the lasting benefits of a successful fusion of architectural quality and functional planning.

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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