The Southern Stove Works factory, located in the Manchester area of Richmond, was constructed in 1920 using pre-fabricated steel frames for buildings that featured large banks of windows to capture natural light and solar heat. The Austin Company, based in Cleveland, Ohio, led the way in employing this structural design and the Southern Stove Works factory—billed as a “modern daylight plant” in contemporary advertisements—is the only documented Austin Company-designed example in Richmond. Prior to locating in Manchester, Southern Stove Works, established in 1880, was housed in a circa 1902 building (listed in the state and national registers in 2005) situated on the north side of Richmond. The company’s success in the early 20th century, spurred by the perceived superiority of its coal- and wood-burning cooking and heating stoves, caused it to outgrow the earlier location and relocate to Manchester, where nearby rail lines kept freight rates low. Southern Stove Works acquired Richmond Stove Works later in the 1920s, which helped it to dominate stove production in Richmond until 1950. Through the use of rehabilitation tax credits since listing in the registers in 2007-2008, the Southern Stove Works, Manchester complex has been converted into a high-end residential area known as the New Manchester Flats.
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