Governor Northam shares video tour of construction, renovation of Capitol Square

Posted at 2:41 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-21 18:50:48-05

RICHMOND, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam and the Department of General Services (DGS) released a behind-the-scenes video tour of the three high-profile Capitol Square construction and renovation projects.

The video tour includes viewing of the construction of the new General Assembly Building and renovation of the Old City Hall and Morson’s Row.

“We are excited to give Virginians a peek behind the curtain at the tremendous work being done to transform Capitol Square in Richmond,” said Governor Northam. “Much of this progress has gone unseen with fewer visitors to Capitol Square over the last year, and many of our state employees and legislators working remotely. The success of these projects is a testament to the strong stewardship of these historic buildings and grounds by the Department of General Services.”

Officials say the old General Assembly Building was an aggregate of four buildings of different architectural styles.

The first of the original buildings used to be the Life Insurance Company of Virginia. Officials decided to keep the south and east sections of the building’s façade and incorporate it into the new building design.

The new 414,000-square-foot General Assembly Building is being constructed on the same footprint as the old 320,000-square-foot building.

It is scheduled to be complete next summer, with 14 stories above grade and one below and one tunnel connecting it to a new parking deck that will be built at the corner of Ninth and Broad streets and another connecting it to the Capitol extension.

The new building will feature a large first-floor cafeteria, more efficient committee and subcommittee spaces, and convenient public spaces for those who visit to participate in the legislative process.

Old City Hall was constructed between 1886 and 1894, and is a National Historic Landmark. It served as Richmond’s City Hall through the 1970s, and the Commonwealth purchased it in 1983, which was the last time it was renovated.

Renovations include replacing all electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems, refurbishing windows, restoring the roof and exterior stone walls, modernizing the interior while restoring its original finishes, making the building ADA-accessible, and installing new elevators.

DGS also will restore the clock and replace the skylight. The project is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2022.

Morson’s Row represents the last example of residential row homes on Governor Street. It was bought by the Commonwealth in the 1970s and 1980s. Once this project is complete in late summer of 2021, it will return to state agency office use.

The project consists of renovating the buildings’ interiors and exteriors, as well as construction of a new tower and other building elements. It will still keep intact historic details like the ornamental marble mantles in the former parlors.

Watch the video tour below: