The King Lumber Company Warehouse is a historic red brick building in Charlottesville, Virginia. The structure dates back to 1909 and serves an rare example of industrial economic development in an area that was never heavily industrialized. A victim of the Great Depression, the King Lumber Company closed in the 1930s. Following a restorative effort in 2015/2016, the structure now houses several local businesses.


  • Exterior view of the King Lumber Company Warehouse. Image by Nickmorgan2 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35602262
    Exterior view of the King Lumber Company Warehouse. Image by Nickmorgan2 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35602262

While never heavily industrialized, manufacturing has played an important role in the economic development of Charlottesville, Virginia. Up until the Civil War, manufacturing in the area mostly consisted of small-scale tobacco companies, lumber mills, and tanneries. By the beginning of the 20th Century, Charlottesville had 79 different local industries; including textiles, book publishing, and lumber milling.

The King Lumber Company was founded in 1899 by Walter King. Building materials manufactured by King Lumber were used throughout the United States, including in many buildings at the University of Virginia. In 1920, the King Lumber Company, which employed over 300 people, was the largest industrial concern in the city; the annual payroll amounted to over $400,000. Owing to the Great Depression and the suicide of the owner, however, the business closed in the 1930s. The warehouse is the only structure remaining from the King Lumber properties.

Located next to the railroad tracks, the King Lumber Company Warehouse served as a large lumber processing and distribution center. It is a three-story, three-bay, three bay by five bay brick building brick building; the brick is layed in 6-course American bond. This imposing structure features architectural elements such as a low gable roof, stepped gables, corbeled cornice stops, and a wheel window in the gable end. On the third floor is a large, 5-foot-wide cast iron gear (patented in Baltimore in the late 1800s) that was once used to operate a freight elevator. The elevator lifted logs of wood to the top of the building.

The King Lumber Company Warehouse was added to the NRHP August 10, 1983 and designated a VLR on October 20, 1981. In 2015, restoration work began on the former warehouse as part of an urban redevelopment effort. The structure now serves as office and commercial space.

"King Lumber Company Warehouse." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed December 27, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Lumber_Company_Warehouse.

"National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form: Historic Resources of Charlottesville, Virginia." United States Department of the Interior - Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service. Accessed December 27, 2016. March 1981. http://www.dhr.Virginia.gov/registers/Cities/Charlottesville/104-0075_Charlottesville_MRA_1982.pdf.

Richardson, Aaron. "Businesses Enjoying Renovated King Lumber Site." Charlottesville Tomorrow. July 2, 2016. Accessed December 27, 2016. http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/24336-businesses-enjoying-renovated-king-lumber-site/.

Tubbs, Sean. "Preston Avenue renaissance continues with King Lumber restoration." Charlottesville Tomorrow. August 31, 2015. Accessed December 27, 2016. http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/21909-preston-avenue-renaissance/.

"VDR Reconnaissance Survey Form: King Lumber Company Warehouse." Virginia Department of Historic Resources. March 21, 1994. http://dhr.Virginia.gov/registers/Cities/Charlottesville/104-0247_KingLumberSurveyForm.pdf.