Portsmouth Community Library

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Portsmouth Community Library
Portsmouth Community Library 13SEP2014.jpg
Portsmouth Community Library is located in Virginia
Portsmouth Community Library
Location 906 Elm St., Portsmouth, Virginia
Coordinates 36°49′54″N 76°18′46″W / 36.83167°N 76.31278°W / 36.83167; -76.31278Coordinates: 36°49′54″N 76°18′46″W / 36.83167°N 76.31278°W / 36.83167; -76.31278
Area 3 acres (1.2 ha)
Built less than one acre
Governing body Federal
NRHP Reference # 10000544[1]
VLR # 124-5130
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 12, 2010
Designated VLR December 17, 2009[2]

Portsmouth Community Library, also known as the Portsmouth Colored Community Library, is a historic library building located at Portsmouth, Virginia. It was built in 1945 at 804 South Street. It is a one-story, three bay, brick building with a hipped roof. It was built to provide for the reading needs of Portsmouth’s African Americans. In 1959, two local dentists, Dr. James Holley and Dr. Hugo A. Owens, successfully sued the City of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Public Library to integrate the public library, which resulted in the closure of the Portsmouth Community Library. The building has been relocated twice since it was closed in 1962 after integration of the public library system; first in 1967 to the parking lot of Ebenezer Baptist Church, 730 Effingham Street, then since August 2007, it has been located at the present location, 904 Elm Avenue.[3]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.[1]


  1. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/09/10 through 8/13/10. National Park Service. 2010-08-20. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Kimble David, Mae Breckenridge-Haywood, Margaret Windley (September 2009). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Portsmouth Community Library". Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  and Accompanying four photos