St. Francis de Sales High School Building
Up to 75 acres
Request for Proposals
Click on above photos to see larger image. These photos were taken in 2007.
FrancisEmma, Inc., a non-profit corporation established by the Sisters of the Blessed
Sacrament, is requesting proposals from experienced, creative architects, building, and real
estate development firms OR for a philanthropic individual or nonprofit group. St. Francis
de Sales, “The Castle” on the James was built in 1899 by the Sisters of the Blessed
Sacrament, a religious community of Sisters founded by St. Katharine Drexel in1891. It
opened as a school for African American young women. FrancisEmma, Inc. is seeking a
redevelopment plan for the adaptive re-use of the building that will be consistent with its
vision for sustainable development and the preservation of this historical site.
St. Francis de Sales, a 70,000 square foot building, contains a chapel designed by H. A. Roby
and a functional school building designed by C. L. Dodd. The original building was
completed in 1899, and a renovation including an addition was completed in 1954. The
Sisters have identified the following primary objectives in pursuing the rehabilitation and
renovation of the St. Francis de Sales building.
A variety of uses for the St. Francis de Sales building are possible. These uses include but are
not limited to those centered on education, spiritual outreach, health and elder care,
environmental study, sustainable agriculture, tourist and recreational endeavors and mixed
income housing. Up to 75 acres of land will be negotiated to facilitate site development.
Sister Maureen T. Carroll Executive Director, FrancisEmma, Inc.