A Visit to 819 S. Cathedral Place

100_1473On Tuesday of this week, I was very fortunate to meet with Mr. Walter Harrow from the Virginia Baptist Mission Board who was so incredibly kind to give me a tour of 819 South Cathedral Place, the westernmost unit of our row.  This is also the unit that appears to be the first sale and deed transfer from developer John C. Shafer to George Stevens in 1892.

It is understandable why this home was so desirable.  George Stevens was already residing on the row two houses down at 815 Floyd Avenue and evidently liked the location.  He was married and probably living with a few small children as well as an in-law, according to the Richmond Directories of that time.  819 was built with a slightly wider footprint, and of course being on the end offered more windows for added light and circulation, which couldn’t hurt the full household.  And, Stevens was headed up the ladder towards distinguished success at Chesapeake & Ohio Rail.  He was in the position to make the purchase of a comfortable residence for his family. Continue reading “A Visit to 819 S. Cathedral Place”

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.”