Monday, October 26, 2009

The Prestwould Apartment building, 612 W. Franklin St., image by Charles W. Smith, from Richmond Magazine, December, 1928.

The Prestwould Apartment building, 612 W. Franklin St.,
image by Charles W. Smith, from the Richmond Magazine, December, 1928.
Click for larger view.

We haven't posted in a while so here's a quick one of a great looking print of a building you may know. The Prestwould, built in 1927, was designed by English architect Alfred C. Bossom (1881-1965) whose offices were based in New York. The building stands at 612 W. Franklin St. opposite Monroe Park. Bossom designed several Richmond buildings, including Monroe Terrace Apartments (now VCU's Johnson Hall), built in 1912; the Virginia Trust Building, 821 E. Main St., built 1919; and the First National Bank Building, located at the corner of 9th and Main St., built 1911-1913.

Richmond Magazine was published monthly by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce from 1914 through 1933. Many of the magazine's cover illustrations in the late 1920s and early 1930s were provided by Virginia artist and educator Charles W. Smith (1893-1987).

Smith was a graduate of the Corcoran Art School and of Yale’s School of Fine Art. After teaching at the University of Virginia and in New York, Smith moved to Richmond to work for the printing firm Whittet & Shepperson. In 1927 he was the first professional artist to be hired by the Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health (later Richmond Professional Institute and now VCU) to teach art. This occurred a year before a full time art program was developed by Theresa Pollak (1899-2002). Smith became chair of the art department at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont in 1936. In 1947 until his retirement in 1963 he taught art and chaired the art department at the University of Virginia. He died in Charlottesville in 1987.

- Ray B.


paul_h said...

Prestwould is an interesting place full of old Richmond type. What makes it interesting is that the upscale Prestwould is such an island surrounded by VCU students and homeless folks who inhabit the park. I sometimes wonder what keeps them there. In a different world Monroe Park would be an inner city gem surrounded by such grand structures as the Prestwould.

ray said...

Is IS a city gem surrounded by great buildings. IS.