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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Wicker Apartments
Reference Number 15000962
State Virginia
County Richmond
Town Richmond
Street Address 3905-4213 Chamberlavne Avenue. 4210-4232 Old Brook Road
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 1/5/2016
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE, COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL HISTORY
Link to full file https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/15000962.pdf
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Wicker Apartments (present-day Bellevue Apartments) is a rare and well-preserved local example of a garden-apartment complex constructed in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond architect W. Harrison Pringle designed the complex, and Earl H. Wicker, a prolific local contractor and developer, owned and built it in two phases in 1945-1947 under Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guidelines. Wicker Apartments is one of only three World War II-era garden-apartment complexes in Richmond that FHA funded. It is a good example of the middle-class urban apartment type that FHA encouraged from the 1930s into the immediate post-World War II years to alleviate the nation's chronic housing shortage. Pringle, who was active from 1917 until at least 1948, designed residential and commercial buildings. Wicker, whose career extended from 1922 until at least the mid-1970s, constructed and sometimes designed residential, commercial, and religious properties. Wicker Apartments is locally significant under Criterion A (Social History and Community Planning and Development) as a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) project that promoted the agency's support of garden-apartment design from the 1930s into the 1950s to alleviate housing shortages throughout the nation. The complex is locally significant under Criterion B (Community Planning and Development) for its developer and builder, Earl H. Wicker, a carpenter-designer-contractor who constructed a large number of Richmond buildings over a career spanning more than half a century. He also played a central role in the 1950s in defeating the City of Richmond's plans to construct a juvenile detention center near the apartments that threatened neighborhood property values. Wicker Apartments is locally significant under Criterion C (Architecture) as a well-preserved example of a Richmond garden apartment complex. It characterizes the essential principles that the FHA espoused concerning landscaping, construction, light and ventilation, and low-rise, harmonious buildings without lobbies or elevators. The period of significance is 1945-1947, the period of construction.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria