Halifax Lofts History

Halifax School

Central Auditorium

The U-shaped school consists of two stories of classrooms (and an attic) arranged around a central auditorium. Prominent front gables flank the slate, side-gabled roof. The intersection points of the gables are punctuated with octagonal cupolas with bell-shaped roofs. Hipped dormers are spaced across the front roof plane. Full-height, pedimented porticos, supported by paired square columns, are situated on each end of the front elevation.

Double Leafed Doors

Beneath the porticos are pedimented entrances with double-leaf doors. The brick walls of the school are laid in an American bond with a Flemish header every sixth row. The multi-light, metal austral windows are arranged in pairs or grouped. Brick jack arches with white keystones surmount the front elevation windows. Single-story porticos, with hipped standing-seam metal roofs, mark the side entrances.


Halifax High School was constructed between 1935 and 1939, under the Works Progress Administration. The firm Hinnant & Smith of Lynchburg was commissioned as the architect and J.H. Bennett, Inc. as the builder. Halifax High School was designed in the Colonial Revival style, common for institutional and civic buildings of this period. The arrangement of classrooms around a central auditorium reflects the progressive education reforms adopted by the state in the early twentieth century.


When the first consolidated county high school was built in 1953, Halifax High School became Halifax Elementary School. The school served as an elementary school until its closure in 2007. As part of the 2015 historic district boundary increase, Halifax High School contributes to the Mountain Road Historic District, which is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C for the period of 1820 to 1965.
Halifax School


This historic school was being renovated into market-rate rental housing, specifically 1- and 2- bedroom “loft-style” residences. The parking and grounds were also being revamped. The historic features were preserved and highlighted as this project utilized federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits, so the redevelopment design was overseen by both the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the federal National Park Service.

Project Timeline

  1. FALL 2009 | Town Manager reaches out to Developer about school
  2. JANUARY 23, 2015 | Developer visits site
  3. FEBRUARY 16, 2015 | Developer submits proposal to County
  4. AUGUST 24, 2015 | Town obtains approval for a boundary increase for the Mountain Road Historic District
  5. MARCH 7, 2016 | County approves purchase contract
  6. APRIL 5, 2016 | Town approves subdivision
  7. MAY 2, 2016 | County approves abandonment of State Route 9188
  8. MAY 10, 2016 | Town approves Special Use Permit
  9. JULY 7, 2016 | DHR Part 1 and Part 2 approvals
  10. SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 | NPS Part 2 approval
  11. SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 | NPS Part 1 approval
  12. OCTOBER 13, 2016 | Developer purchases site from County
  13. OCTOBER 14, 2016 | County issues building permit
  14. NOVEMBER 10, 2016 | Contractor issued Notice to Proceed
  15. NOVEMBER 14, 2016 | Deed of Trust recorded
  16. JULY, 2017 | Redevelopment completed