The renovation project is a multi-phase plan to restore this historic tobacco warehouse, "The Prizery", into a community, fine arts, and Welcome Center.

Architecturally, this building is the most interesting and handsome of the industrial buildings in town. The major feature of the exterior is a large four-story Italianate tower at one corner of the building.

Italianate Tower Space within the three floor, 38,000 square foot building is designated for a Welcome Center, an exhibit area, a performing arts auditorium, lockers for cyclists and pedestrians, classrooms, and a third story multi-purpose community room.

The Prizery Project is a renovation effort by the Community Arts Center Foundation (CACF), a volunteer-led organization that has been one of the "sparkplugs" in the revitalization plans for the Historic Tobacco Warehouse District. Together with the adjoining Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, the aesthetic value achieved will serve as a catalyst for urban renewal of the district.

The Prizery will accommodate an art gallery on the first floor, a welcome center on the 2nd floor, and a multi-purpose community room on the 3rd floor in addition to a performing arts theatre seating 326 people.


Tourists will have the advantage of learning about the South Boston and Halifax County community by visiting the Welcome Center located in the lobby of the Prizery. The Welcome Center will act as the information hub for Halifax County and will also display historic exhibits highlighting the county's tobacco heritage. The Center will display a community calendar, area maps with cycling routes, and historic exhibits highlighting the town's tobacco and river transportation heritage.

ConstructionHanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, Norfolk, Va. is converting a tobacco warehouse into a community arts center with a visitor's center, art gallery and performing arts theater for the Town of South Boston, Va., and its Community Arts Center Foundation. The building is envisioned as a centerpiece and catalyst for other projects in South Boston's Tobacco Warehouse Historic District. Phase 1, to be completed in Summer 2003, involves structural repairs to the building, (where tobacco once was dried, pressed - or "prized" - into the hogsheads for shipment), and completion of the visitor's center. This image shows the rebuilding of one of the original window frames. There are more than 150 windows in the building. Experienced, qualified craftsmen are performing the window restoration, masonry restoration and timber construction.

Also included on the 2nd floor near the welcome center are restrooms and lockers for traveling pedestrians and cyclists; a small exhibit space for lectures and art exhibits; and classrooms for continuing education, safety training, and discussions.

The facility will have a performing arts theatre suitable for plays, musicals, symphony, chamber music, popular music concerts, lectures, gospel choirs, and other multicultural events to people of all ages. The 326-seat theater will also offer the community a facility for business and industrial meetings and have teleconferencing capabilities.

The multipurpose community room will accommodate local businesses/industries, user groups and civic organizations by providing a location for meetings, conferences, and various other events. The room will also provide classroom space for proposed theatre/art degree programs and multicultural classes in the arts including pottery, painting, crafts, music, dance, and theater. Teleconferencing capability may provide the colleges associated with the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, located next door, the advantage of expanding program curriculum into the Prizery as needed to meet the growing educational needs of local citizens.

The art gallery will enhance the cultural experience and education of all who visit by displaying multicultural exhibits. Exhibit space will sufficiently accommodate art displayed by colleges, museums, and artists. The Parsons-Bruce Art Association, a local user group of the Prizery, has facilitated the display of The Virginia Museum's traveling art exhibits at the Prizery. Coordination with the local schools will be instrumental in introducing "the arts" to schoolchildren of all ages.

With classroom space, exhibit space, auditorium space and a wide range of planned activities and lectures, the town envisions the educational mission of the Prizery as vital to the building's ability to enhance the quality of life for the community.


June 20, 2003 Renovation
New Bruce Street Entrance

Basement Footings - April 2004