Belgian Building

Also known as: William J. Clark Library and Barco-Stevens Hall, Belgian Pavilion
Lombardy St., jct. with Brook Rd., Richmond, Virginia

Map 

Description 

The Belgian Building was originally built as part of the Belgian exposition center for the 1939 New York World's Fair then reconstructed in 1941 on the campus of Virginia Union University in Richmond. The building's architects, Victor Bourgeois and Leo Stijnen, worked under the direction of Professor Henry van der Velde, one of the most important architects of the 20th century and a pioneer of the modernist movement. The Belgian government planned to reassemble the building as a university library back in Belgium once the fair was over. Instead, because of the risk of shipping it in the midst of World War II while Belgium was under Nazi occupation, the Belgian government donated the building to Virginia Union University, a prominent African American institution. The original architects directed its reconstruction at VUU, where it was dubbed the Belgian Friendship Building. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS VA-187)

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 26, 1970
Reference number
01000439
Architectural style
Modern Movement: International Style
Area of significance
Architecture
Level of significance
National
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Library
Current function
Library
Period of significance
1925-1949
Significant year
1941

Sources