history hofheimer building

Original Postcard Advertisement

Original Postcard Advertisement

Click here for info about Richmond’s newest Rooftop Event Venue at The Hofheimer Building.

The main building was erected in 1928 for the Herold R. Hofheimer Fine Rug Cleaning Company. The Department of Historic Resources characterizes it as one of the rare examples of “Exotic-Revival style” architecture in the Richmond area. The building features glazed tilework, Mediterranean-style clay roof and copper glad dome on the eastern tower. The western dome was built with a hipped roof and square openings. The building actually features leftover mosaic tiles from the construction of the Mosque Theater (now Altria Theater) which was built the prior year in 1927. Ms. Hofheimer, the daugther-in-law of Herold R. Hofheimer told me when we met that the left over tile was available for purchase and inspired her father-in-law to use in the design of the building.

Life After Hofheimer

The Hofheimer family sold the building in 1980 to Adam’s Camera Shops which was owned and operated by the Rudlin family. Adam’s Camera was founded in 1944 and had 6 locations across downtown Richmond including a location in a historic building at the corner of Broad and Boulevard that was demolished to make way for 7-11 in 1979. Sonny Rudlin, the camera shops proprietor was known to love Chinese food according to his son and he told me that his dad would have loved the idea that an award winning Sichuan chef like Peter Chang was carrying on the legacy of the building into a new generation.

The Ballroom

From 1980-1990 the upstairs was used for ballroom dancing. Some sources say it was called The Marianna School of Dance and others have cited it as one of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios. We’ve not been able to confirm this. Either way the second floor has an open floor plan with large windows facing Broad Street and would make for an amazing Event Space or Banquet Hall. If anyone has additional information regarding the history of the ballroom, please email Carter@SnipesProperties.com

Historic Legacy

The building is considered one of the contributing historic buildings in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood and is specifically cited in the neighborhood’s historic designation. Here is a snippet from the Department of Historic Resources which cites the Hofheimer Building.

Original Blueprint

Original Blueprint

The Addition & Roof: Amazing Possibilities

Mr. Hofheimer built an addition to the property in 1937 and amazingly these original blueprints were found in the building almost 80 years later! The addition was constructed with 2 unique features that open our development plans up to some interesting possibilities: a freight elevator with direct access to the roof, and a large enclosed steel structure on top of the roof, formerly used to dry rugs. The roof enclosure was cut off, but remnants are still visible today. Functional elevator access to the roof could allow for ADA accessibility, which would bring a proposed roof dining area current with modern building code standards. And as there was once an enclosure on the building, we may be able to build a similar enclosure, pergola or indoor/outdoor patio.

Annie and I really appreciate everyone’s support on this project and we are stoked to have met Peter and be working with him and Nancy on this. We also want to thank Stephen Rudlin for giving us a chance. We are truly fortunate to have stumbled on to this amazing building!

For questions, suggestions or comments feel free to comment below or hit me up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carter.snipes

- Carter Snipes

More info about the upcoming Rooftop Event Venue at www.HofheimerBuilding.com