The Resource Preliminary study, Addition to the State Capitol building, Richmond, Virginia, (architectural drawing)

Preliminary study, Addition to the State Capitol building, Richmond, Virginia, (architectural drawing)

Preliminary study, Addition to the State Capitol building, Richmond, Virginia, 1951.
Preliminary study, Addition to the State Capitol building, Richmond, Virginia
Inclusive dates
  • These fifteen sheets represent two copies of a proposal designed by architect Merrill C. Lee for additions to the Virginia State Capitol. In 1950, the General Assembly citing insufficient meeting space, disrepair, and other concerns regarding the Capitol building sanctioned a commission to investigate possible solutions. Lee, a member of the commission, devised a plan that would extend both the House and Senate wings northward. This recommendation by the majority of the body would have added a second columned pavillion to both the east and west wing elevations and created additional space on the attic floor (alternately referred to as the third or fourth floor) of the building. This plan was never executed. Due to inflated building costs and a minimal potential return on the investment, the minority opinion was adopted and the General Assembly sought additional office space in separate buildings around Capitol Square
  • These architectural drawings were likely transferred with the records of the commission but were separated due to their size
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
Merrill Clifford Lee, born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 1892, studied architecture at Pennsylvania State College (1912-1914), the Beaux Arts Institute of Design (New York, 1914), and MIT (1916-1917). Following a position with the Boston firm of Blackall, Clapp, and Whittemore, Lee worked for Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson, also of Boston and the architects for Richmond (Virginia) College's Millhiser Gymnasium. Lee formed a partnership with Richmond architect Clifton Lee (Lee & Lee) in 1919, and the firm functioned as the supervising architects for the gymnasium project. In 1924, Lee & Lee dissolved, and Merrill Lee formed a partnership with H. L. Smith, Jr. and James Van Dervoort. Lewis W. Ballou joined the firm in 1932, but the firm of Lee, Ballou, and Van Dervoort dissolved in 1934. Lee, Smith and Van Dervoort went on to design many new buildings and additions for Bell Telephone Company of Virginia as its consulting architects, 1930-1965. Merrill Lee served as the Federal Housing Administration's chief architectural supervisor in Virginia during the Depression. Some of Lee's notable commissions include Richmond Garage (1927, Lee, Smith & Van DerVoort), The Home for Needy Confederate Women (1932, Lee, Smith & Van Dervoort), Jefferson State Office Building (1956, with Marcellus Wright & Son). Merrill C. Lee retired in 1971 and died on March 9, 1981.
Cataloging source
Citation source
  • Kummer, Karen Lang, THE EVOLUTION OF THE VIRGINIA STATE CAPITOL, 1779-1965. Master's thesis, University of Virginia, 1981
  • Virginia. Commission on Improvements to the Capitol Building, IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CAPITOL BUILDING. REPORT OF THE COMMISSION TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF VIRGINIA (Senate Document No. 12), Richmond, Commonwealth of Virginia Division of Purchasing and Printing, 1951
Preliminary study, Addition to the State Capitol building, Richmond, Virginia, (architectural drawing)
Located in the LVA General Architectural Files Collection, Folder 53. Serve Copy A (Diazo prints)
  • The Library of Virginia
  • 69 x 69 cm.
  • 69 x 69 cm.
  • 9 sheets
  • 6 sheets
Immediate source of acquisition
Donor information unavailable.
  • 36673a
  • 36673b
Other physical details
  • Diazo prints
  • Blueprints
Representative fraction of scale
Scale : Various.
Terms governing use
All requests for reproduction of architectural drawings must be made through the Library of Virginia Photo Services Department.

Library Locations

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      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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