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Featuring the world’s largest concrete dome, the Norfolk Scope (derived from kaleidoscope for it’s re-configurability) is a center for sports, entertainment and conventions in downtown Norfolk. It was designed by Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi who based it on his design for the Palazzetto dello Sport, built Rome for the 1960 Summer Olympics. As part of Norfolk’s postwar, the revitalization, funding for the dome came from the federal government after architects solicited Sen. A Willis Robertson. Of the $35 million cost, $23 million came from federal funds.



This object from the Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, housed by the Rhode Island College Special Collections, and any of its digital surrogates are the intellectual property of Rhode Island College. This digital object is protected by copyright and/or related rights. The digital material presented here is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This content can be used, shared, or adapted for educational and scholarly purposes. For permissions to use this item please contact All uses must include appropriate attribution.

Creator 1 Role


Creator 2 Dates


Creator 2 Role


Recommended Citation

Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, MSS-0041, Special Collections, James P. Adams Library, Rhode Island College.


aerial, downtown revitalization, federal aid, downtown, cityscape