A chronology of events

Now that I’m completely finished with the report, I can relax a little and share the findings here on the blog.  There are a lot of parts and pieces to the research, so I’ll be adding them as posts over the coming weeks.  I also hope to create a version of the full presentation to post in a few weeks, so keep an eye out for that!

Today I’ll share with you Appendix B – which is just a basic chronology of events for each house.  You can take a look at the full appendix below, but here’s a snapshot of 811 South Cathedral Place’s major events over the years:

Pickrell-Alsop House, 811 South Cathedral Place

1889, Jul 29 John C. Shafer took out $4,500 Mutual Assurance Coverage on unit under policy #24225; Construction was in process, property owned by John C. Shafer

1889 – 1900+ Pickrell family resided

1890, Dec 16 Joint deed with 813 Floyd Avenue made as bond towards repaying of a $10,000 debt; Legh R. Page and George Christian appointed trustees

1895, Mar 24 John C. Shafer, property owner, died

1903, Apr 9 James A. Moncure, administrator of the Shafer estate transferred property by deed to Boswell Alsop for $8,500

1903, Jun 4 Cornerstone laid for foundation of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Continue reading “A chronology of events”

How Buildings Learn

During my tour of 819 South Cathedral Place with Mr. Harrow from the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, I learned that at the point that the dwellings were connected and under ownership of the Catholic Diocese, all the powering had been centralized and sourced from the basement of 819.  Mr. Harrow said that they were finalizing the separation of that along with physically disconnecting the unit from its neighbors.  This particular tidbit regarding the power went to the back of my mind until after I brought up a separate observation with Dr. Brownell about the 3rd floor dormers on this dwelling.  We know from a 1970s photo that there were no dormers at all on 819, and of course now, there are only two.

Recently while surveying the 819 roofline and cornice, it seemed strikingly obvious to me that something – dormers – used to be in the places where they appear on the other units, because there was a slight color differentiation of the slate tiles in just that area; they appeared less weathered.

Continue reading “How Buildings Learn”