The Markel Building

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Supposedly inspired from a baked potato, the Markel building was built in the 1960s - although it has a decidedly futuristic aspect to it. Although many may see the crinkly, pewter-colored round building as an eyesore, it is certainly a distinct structure in the midst of its rectangular neighbors.

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The Markel Corporation commissioned architect Haig Jamgochian, a Richmond native, to design their headquarters in 1962. The aluminum clad conical structure was inspired by a baked potato wrapped in foil served to Jamgochian while attending an American Institute of Architect’s dinner. Each floor consists of a single piece of 555-foot aluminum. They are the longest unbroken pieces of aluminum ever used as siding material. Jamgochian personally sledge-hammered crinkles into the 3rd floor siding before contractors finished the job on the other two floors in 1965. The building is a unique architectural example of its era.