Must-See RVA! — Banner Factory

Must-See RVA! — Banner Factory

A look into the history of Richmond places that are still part of our landscape.

August 2016

AKA, General Hospital #12
1900 East Franklin Street
Built, 1853
Architect, Samuel Freeman
VDHR 127-6722

August 2016

Another factory building converted for wartime purposes by the Confederacy.

(Civil War Richmond)

The Shockoe Valley & Tobacco Row Historic District contains many tobacco-related resources, reflecting the generations before that represented by the Chesapeake Warehouses. Resources in the Shockoe Valley & Tobacco Row Historic District range from mid-19th century tobacco factories, including the John Enders factory (ca. 1849), the Myers Brothers factory (1850), the William Grant factory (1853), and the Robinson factory (ca. 1849), to large, late 19th century warehouses, including the P. Lorilland Warehouse (ca. 1890) and the Pace Tobacco Company.


A prime example of a small-scale production facility is the William Grant Factory located at 1900 East Franklin Street in Shockoe Bottom. This building is an “L” in plan, which maximizes the natural light that enters the building. The long sides of the “L” front 19th Street and Franklin Street. The building is constructed with brick and is four stories tall with an attic space located beneath the cross-gabled roof. The gable ends are punctuated with a stepped parapet. The windows are large and evenly spaced. (VDHR)

(Civil War Richmond)

It became a hospital in 1862.

Mr. Grant still occupied the first floor and the other three floors were each a ward with partitions to cut off the private quarters for the staff, the dining rooms, and the apothecary shop. In the yard, and contiguous with the main building, were several small buildings containing the kitchen, storeroom, privies, laundry room, and deadhouse.

This hospital was designated a “wayside hospital” and was used by sick and disabled soldiers who had been dischared or were on furlough and had nowhere else to stay. [RWH]

(City of Richmond) – Real Estate Assessor’s Office, aerial

On completion of the Flood Wall in 1995, Shockoe Bottom began a slow, steady transformation into a bedroom community for VCU Medical Campus. Big empty buildings everywhere were ripe for conversion, and Banner Factory was no exception. In 2001, it was refitted as Shockoe Center Apartments, which it remains today.

(Banner Factory is part of the Atlas RVA Project)


  • [RIH]. Richmond, An Illustrated History. Harry M. Ward. 1985.
  • [RWH]. Richmond’s Wartime Hospitals. Rebecca Barbour Calcutt. 2005.


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