The Belgian Friendship Building: From New York’s Flushing Meadow to Richmond’s Virginia Union University

Date: 24 November 2022
Time: 17:00 - 18:00

Built for the Worlds Fair held in 1939 and 1940 in New York citys Flushing Meadow and designed by Henry van de Velde in collaboration with Victor Bourgeois and Lon Stynen, the Belgian Building was subsequently re-erected on the grounds of Virginia Union University, a historically Black institution in Richmond, Virginia, with a strong history of training African Americans professionals dedicated to advancing the cause of civil rights.  The first major example of European modernism placed on a campus in the United States and a firm challenge to the citys history of commemorating Confederate generals who fought to uphold slavery, the building could be seen as an overlooked milestone in the history of the architecture of the African American community, a status that is undercut, however, by its relationship to Belgiums colonial ties to the Congo.

Campus Location

Arts Building


All levels


One-time event

Type of Event

Lectures and Seminars


Researchers,Undergrad,Postgrad,Alumni,Faculty & Staff,Public

Contact Name

Maria Elisa Navarro Morales

Contact Email


All levels





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