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Thanks to the stewardship of the Woolen Mills Chapel Foundation, Preservation Piedmont recently acquired our first ever gift of real estate - the Woolen Mills Chapel.  



Join us in our goal to preserve this beloved Charlottesville-Albemarle architecture, while we develop a community-based program that aligns with the historic use of the building as a Chapel, and the mission of our organization, Preservation Piedmont.

Show the little chapel some love

Your gift will help Preservation Piedmont breathe new life into the Woolen Mills Chapel as we work to repair, preserve, restore, and stabilize. 

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The Woolen Mills Village Historic District encompasses a neighborhood central to the history of the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County since a mill opened there in 1829. Located at the foot of Monticello Mountain, along the Rivanna River, Woolen Mills developed into one of the city’s and the region’s most noteworthy industries, producing cloth for military uniforms from the late-19th century through the 1950s.


Although many of the company mill town’s early factories have now vanished, its brick mill buildings of the late-19th and early-20th centuries remain, as do brick and frame houses in a range of styles built during the mid-19th through the early-20th centuries for or by mill employees. Home to generations of families who worked in its mills, the village was annexed from the county by Charlottesville in 1963. The Woolen Mills Village Historic District’s period of significance begins with 1847, the date of the earliest company-built housing, and ends in 1962, the year the mills closed. At the time of its listing, the historic district still evoked a late-19th century industrial village.


The Woolen Mills Chapel was built by employees of the Charlottesville Woolen Mills on land donated by the company.  It is a well-preserved example of late-19th-century vernacular church construction with its pointed, Carpenter Gothic doors, windows, shutters, and steeply pitched gable roof. The building’s most distinctive feature is the 50-foot-high octagonal, green shingle-covered bell tower, which gradually tapers to a point. The original 1887 structure, a simple rectangular nave with the tower and vestibule at the south end, was more them doubled in size by the similarly-styled 1908 addition of Sunday school classrooms onto the west side. From 1956 to 1965 the Woolen Mills Chapel was leased to the Pentecostal Holiness Church congregation, and in 1965 it was leased to the Calvary Baptist Church.


The buildings and districts listed under the Charlottesville Multiple Resource Area nomination represent a cross section of all the city’s historic periods, from the founding of Charlottesville in the 1760s through the advent of the automobile and the impact it had on the city’s expansion. Also included are buildings that have played an important part in the history of Charlottesville’s black community. The Woolen Mills Chapel was listed in the registers under the Charlottesville MRA without a formal nomination document.

Coming soon!

  • A vision for the future

  • A survey for community input

  • An update on preservation work

  • An opportunity to see the space

  • Interested in using the space? Contact: 

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