Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind

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The high quality of the early architecture of many of Virginia’s state-supported institutions is exemplified in the splendid Main Building of the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton. Founded in 1838, the institution did not see the final touches put on its huge central structure until 1846. The city of Staunton was selected for the school because of its central location and because it was in the midst of “cheap and abundant country.” The Main Building’s designer was Robert Cary Long, Jr., a Baltimore architect whose mastery of the Greek Revival idiom is evident in the powerful hexastyle Greek Doric portico and in the proportions and detailing of the rest of the building. The contractor for the ambitious undertaking was William Donoho of Albemarle County. The building remains the principal structure of this pioneering humanitarian institution.

Last Updated: November 17, 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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