Portsmouth City Council approves permits for wedding, events venue in former St. Paul’s Academy for Boys


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A new venue for weddings and other events is on its way to Olde Towne Portsmouth.

Portsmouth City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to allow Norfolk developer Ed O’Brien to covert the longtime home of St. Paul’s Academy for Boys and St. Paul’s Central High School into a place to host wedding receptions and family receptions.

City Council approved the rezoning and use permit for this project, which says the building will be used for wedding receptions, family celebrations, charity events, and seminars.

Built in 1891, the two-story building is located at 441 Washington Street in the Olde Towne Historic District. Girls were admitted in 1931, and it became the first integrated school in Portsmouth in 1959.

The school closed back in 1991 and after several ownership changes, O’Brien bought it at auction in 2020.

There’s no word yet on when the event venue will open. The building has been vacant for three years, according to city agenda documents.

The business will have four employees.

(Map courtesy: City of Portsmouth)

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