Following my research on Richmond’s South Cathedral Place, I was assigned a topic that had led many previous researchers to dead end after dead end: a long-demolished Richmond structure attributed to our country’s first professionally trained architect and first Architect of the Capitol, B. Henry Latrobe. Latrobe could be considered an architectural historian’s ultimate celebrity … Continue reading A Significant Discovery on B. Henry Latrobe’s “Clifton”, Richmond, Virginia
Clifton Illustrations View more documents from Jessica Bankston Continue reading Illustrations: The Biography and Design of Latrobe’s “Clifton”
South Cathedral Place, Richmond, Virginia (1889): Up From the Ashes | Illustrations View more presentations from Jessica Bankston Continue reading South Cathedral Place, Richmond, Virginia (1889): Up From the Ashes | Illustrations
This evening I met with T. Tyler Potterfield, author of Nonesuch Place: A History of the Richmond Landscape, and Gibson Worsham, Architectural Historian at 3north and author of the blog, “Urban Scale Richmond,” for a tour of the Clifton site. We began with a brief overview of the Capitol hill and walked over to the … Continue reading Walking The Clifton Site
Here is the presentation I gave to my group after finishing the project. Continue reading Cathedral Row, Richmond VA: The Movie!
What makes our row on South Cathedral Place isn’t just the history of who built it and who lived there, but the style. The row combines the best of the Modern French, Queen Anne and Italianate into it’s own cohesive Freestyle cluster. The Freestyle became a pattern in itself in many instances in the Fan. Even prominent defining elements of passe architectural styles, such as the Mansard roof, were prominently incorporated into desirable house patterns through the early 1900s. Here is the excerpt from my paper on this topic:
Try summoning the Spirit of Styles Past at Shafer’s row, and we are inundated with a profusion of exotic flavors and motifs. Is this a mishmash or an intentional blend? The leading handbook for understanding American architecture, A Field Guide To American Houses, is helpful in instances of stylistic cohesion, but it doesn’t do us any good in identifying the fusion happening here. The Spirit of Styles Past will show us that in Richmond’s Fan District, from the late 19th century through well into the 20th century, production builders followed a new industry model of deliberate blending of style to fashion a “cohesive contradiction” in middle class house patterns.
Arguably the most prominent feature of the row is the Modern French or Second Empire mansard roofline, housing a third story on the front portion of the dwellings, a technique ideal for urban town house designs. But, is it a surprise to see this element applied in 1889 Richmond? A Field Guide to American Houses identifies the span of popularity of this style from 1860-1880, “with late examples not uncommon in the 1880s.” But here we are pushing 1890, with the replication of this element far from being finished in the Fan District of Richmond. A near duplication of the mansard-roofed row was executed in 1895 Continue reading “The Freestyle dominates the Fan – UPDATE”
Got back from the circuit court records room a little while ago, and although I did not find the rosetta stone I was hoping for, I did learn that there was a history of substantial business transactions between John C. Shafer and Gilbert J. Hunt in the conveyance of undeveloped land tracts. After a successful … Continue reading Land transactions between Shafer and Hunt