Beecroft & Bull

the journal

Slover Library

January 2015 marked the renewal (pun intended) of Norfolk’s newest library in nearly 50 Years.  The Slover Library, located in Downtown Norfolk adjacent to the Selden Arcade, has become more than a building to house books and periodicals.  And by the way, it has books.  More than 160,000 to be precise.  The Slover has become a technology and innovation center focused on igniting not just intellectual curiosity but fuel the passion of learning for anyone who enters the large glass expanse on Plume Street.  Inside this $65,000,000 facility are an array of items to spark intellectual curiosity, including 130 computers, a 3-D printer, large interactive touch screen monitors and gaming centers, and of course, a bistro.  You can’t learn on an empty stomach! 

Design wise, the Slover Library is a marvel.  Associate Architect, John Tymoff of Tymoff + Moss Architects, knew this was a project he could get behind.  The city of Norfolk needed the renaissance captured by a feat of this scale, and knew with the support and backing of some of the cities most generous citizens, the dream would be realized. 

Jane Batten, wife of the late Frank Batten, Sr. became a champion of this effort from day one.  With more than just her financial commitment, she felt it important to have the building pay tribute to her husband who passed away in 2009 at the age of 82.

What’s in a name?  Named for Col. Samuel L. Slover, he was an integral part In raising a young Frank Batten after his father passed away.  He held the belief of “informed citizenry” as a vital path towards success.  It was this paternal link which helped Batten forge a career in the newspaper business as Slover founded The Virginian-Pilot and its parent company, Landmark Communications.  Slover also held elected office serving as Norfolk’s Mayor in 1933.  Col. Slover passed away in 1959.

Each season, Beecroft & Bull selects a location and venue to help bring to life the clothing, which we feel tells a story.  What better location than a library!  By providing more than 138,000 square feet which spreads across three buildings, more than enough room would be available for the photographers, models, assistants, and other people who made this photo-shoot possible.  “So much of our business includes heritage by way of style and presentation,” says Beecroft & Bull President, Craig Beecroft.  “We felt that the inclusion of history coupled with modern design and 21st century architecture, would serve as the ideal compliment for the look we were trying to present.  I feel we can say we accomplished that goal.”  The building itself is a virtual time capsule, encompassing three centuries of construction and architecture.  The Seaboard Building, once serving as Old Norfolk’s City Hall, touches on the 1800’s.  The Selden Arcade portion reaches into the 1900’s, and the new six story building crosses the bridge into the 21st century.

The combination of warm woods, heavy tempered metals, and the abundance of glass, set the stage for a truly unique venue that captured so much of the essence of the beecroft & bull brand.  So much of what goes into our selection of clothing and how we pair looks for our customers is fueled by inspiration and passion.  The design and archicture of this magnificent structure serves as a link to these ideals.  At one time in history, the library was the epicenter of technological achievement and innovation.  It was a place where great thinkers gathered to share ideas and help inform and educate those seeking inspiration of their own.  As a community, Norfolk embraces so many of these ideas.  It was time, however, for a building to be constructed, which could not only support this mission, but also carry out the vision of both Batten and Slover.

The 2016 Fall Album has a new look and feel, as does our website.  The Journal, which you have obviously had the good fortune to come upon, is our next evolution in finding ways for our clothing to connect with the culture and experiences of the communities where we have made our stores home.  The Fall Album is a beautiful piece to hold and share, but The Journal will intend to tell more of our story with our friends and guests.  As we grow, we will look forward to finding a way to connect you with some of the interesting elements, which should be discovered and shared.  In the end, we all are storytellers.  Please come along as we share more with you, always with this in mind, “Dress Better Than You Have To.”

mark atkinson