Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Imperial Tobacco Co. Office Building (1904): Gone But Not Forgotten - Wait, It IS Forgotten.

Drawing of the proposed Imperial Tobacco Company's office building, Sixth and
Cary Streets, Richmond, VA, from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 17, 1904 (page six).

A friend showed me this Richmond Times-Dispatch image from Chronicling America about two years ago and he sent me the URL. The building is now demolished but was still extant in 1977 when the images (see below) were taken. These images are from VCU Libraries' Digital Collections web site. The excellent blog Vintage Richmond (which has been dormant for several years) posted those images and wrote about the building back in 2011 which is where I discovered them online. Here's a very truncated history of Imperial Tobacco Company.

 Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 17, 1904 (page six).


The above cut is a reproduction of a drawing for the new office building for The Imperial Tobacco Company, as it will appear when finished. 

The building is to be erected at the corner of Sixth and Canal Streets, this city. The design and plans were prepared by Mr. H. J. Blauvelt, Architect and Engineer, Richmond, Va. The contract has been awarded to Mr. Charles H. East, Danville, Va. The building is to be constructed of brick, with granite and terra cotta trimmings and slate roof, and is to be occupied exclusively for offices by The Imperial Tobacco Company. The main offices and counting room are on the first floor. The second floor is to be used as a sample room, taking the light from the roof through ceiling lights constructed of prism glass. The interior finish is to be of mahogany and quartered oak, panel ceiling and wains coating and hardwood floors; the reception hall, vestibule and lobby floors are to be of tile. The building is to be lighted through out with electric light and provided with a power elevator. The heat and ventilation system will be of the most modern arrangement, forced draft system, radiation to be taken from the power plant in the rear, and so arranged as to provide a circulation of cool air throughout the various offices and counting room in hot weather. 

The arrangement of the offices is the work of Mr. James MacDonald, resident director, and Mr. W. C. Read and they will no doubt be the most convenient of their kind in this country.

Images of the building from 1977.

The entrance as seen in 1977.

Here's a view of the site of Richmond Plant of the Imperial Tobacco Company (of Great Britain and Ireland), Limited. Stemmery and Warehouse, Sixth and Cary Streets; General Office, Dispatch Building, Ninth and Main Streets. from Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James : the Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests [found on Google Books] published in 1903. This image was published one year before plans their office building were printed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in January of 1904. More about the tobacco industry in Virginia and Richmond HERE.

- Ray

No comments: