Armstrong Knitting Factory
Built in 1889 the Armstrong Knitting Factory (700 Harris St.) is listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places (listed 1982) as part of the Charlottesville Multiple Resource Area. The Armstrong Building's status as the oldest surviving factory building in the City and the only industrial building in the Second Empire style, make it an important part of the architectural and historic fabric of the City. The Armstrong building resembles the 1882 Charlottesville Woolen Mills building (now demolished) and was probably designed by the same architect. H.C. Marchant, president of the Charlottesville Wollen Mills, acquired the Armstrong Knitting Factory in 1903. It is not known whether he might have been involved with the firm from the beginning and thus have influenced the design of both buildings. The Second Empire style never achieved great popularity in Charlottesville and no more than half a dozen buildings remain today. Of those, the Armstrong Knitting Factory is the only industrial building. Moreover, it is the oldest factory building still standing in the City limits. The handsome entrance tower with iron cresting on its Mansard roof has been restored.