Richmond, VA

Leigh Street Armory


Built circa 1895 and listed on the state and national registers, the First Virginia Volunteers Battalion Armory, also known as the Leigh Street Armory, is the oldest armory building standing in Virginia. It has significant cultural heritage as one of the only existing armories built for an African-American military battalion. The armory suffered severe damage from fire, years of neglect, exposure to the elements, and vandalism. The armory received a grant under the U.S. Department of the Interior Save America’s Treasures Program and the City of Richmond wanted to stabilize the building and prevent further deterioration of the surviving elements while they evaluated various options for building.

The armory was constructed as a load-bearing brick masonry structure with wood floor and roof framing. The ornate exterior walls, which feature terra-cotta crenellations and a decorative band course, were relatively sound and able to be rehabilitated, but wood elements were largely destroyed.

For this project, SGH:

  • Performed a condition survey of the structure, reconciled as-built construction with original drawings, and developed masonry stabilization repair options for the city’s consideration
  • Developed a stabilization program with plans and specifications in conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and designed permanent repairs to all elements except interior floor framing, which were temporary
  • Analyzed the adequacy of the building to resist code-prescribed lateral and gravity loads and designed wall bracing for immediate stabilization until permanent repairs were implemented

Project Summary



Completion Date


Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Structures | Building Enclosures
Culture & Entertainment
City of Richmond, VA
Specialized Capabilities
Repair & Strengthening | Condition Assessments | Preservation

Key team members

Niklas Vigener
Niklas Vigener
Chief Technical Officer
Bradford Carpenter
Bradford Carpenter
Senior Principal