A Day In Washington, D.C.

This past Wednesday was a really great day with my Mom in Washington.  She joined me on a multi-stop tour of some interesting spots recommended by Dr. Brownell.  Our first stop was at the James E. Blaine House at 2000 Massachusetts Avenue in the Dupont Circle neighborhood.  This is “the oldest remaining mansion in the Dupont Circle area…and the sole surviving example of at least seven imposing Second Empire and Queen Anne residences executed in Washington by the transplanted Philadelphia architect John Fraser.” (Scott and Lee, 327)  The mansion is truly interesting in person.  There are a lot of wonderful elements, including an ornate porte-cochere.  The huge terracotta brackets along either side of the Massachusetts entryway were so strikingly beautiful, featuring intricate huge unique sunflowers on each side. Continue reading “A Day In Washington, D.C.”


Help from VCU Real Estate Services

Last week I visited VCU’s Real Estate Services office to have a look at the title polices and environmental assessments of the row on South Cathedral to see if I could garner any new clues.  Mitzi and Josh were very helpful in locating the files I needed to view.  The deeds on file for the VCU-owned row gave a brief history of most recent owners going back to those just prior to the Catholic Diocese.  This was a great help!  The more names to associate, the better.  This also added quite a bit to the chronology of each unit, leaving a portion of the middle to fill in.  Hopefully with the help of the Richmond court records and Architectural Survey files that can be achieved.  Here’s a look at the current chronology of the western unit, 819 S Cathedral Place: Continue reading “Help from VCU Real Estate Services”

Norwalk Lock Co. Hardware

Last Friday, the folks at 813 S Cathedral – The VCU Wellness Center – were so kind as to help me investigate the manufacturer of the beautiful bronze sliding door locks and pulls of their building.  This set was the best I’ve seen in the three units I’ve explored so far, meaning, they are the only ones not painted over, and still exhibit the beautiful craftsmanship and finish.  We carefully unscrewed the screws and gently pulled out the pulls and lockset, revealing the manufacturer to be Norwalk Lock Co.  Continue reading “Norwalk Lock Co. Hardware”

The Basics

This is the very basic foundation of details known to me at this point on this handsome row of buildings.  They were constructed in 1889 and developed by prominent area resident, John C. Shafer, a close friend of Lewis Ginter.  They are modeled in the Second Empire style with striking mansard roofs.  In the 20th … Continue reading The Basics