ArchitectureRichmond: Lava Lofts

11/24/2015 12:26 PM by

ArchitectureRichmond has a look at the architecture and history of the Lava Lofts/Chimborazo Elementary building:

The building began its life in 1905 as the Chimborazo School. The school was named for the nearby Chimborazo Park, itself named for a massive Ecuadorean volcano. The building’s current title is also an image.


The Chimborazo school functioned up until 1968 when students moved to the mid-century modern Chimborazo Elementary nearby. The closing was partly due to out-of-date facilities, but was also part of the larger narrative of segregation, white flight, and divestment in inner-city neighborhoods. After a long vacancy, the building was converted into senior’s housing in the 1990s. 2012 brought the latest iteration, with 55 apartments totaling some 46,000 square feet.



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