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Richmond

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Governor's Mansion, Capitol Square, Richmond, Independent City, VA



See 30 maps of this location


Data Pages


Drawings


Item Title


Location
Capitol Square, Richmond, VA

Find maps of Richmond, VA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS VA-1242
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-348).
Building/structure dates: 1813 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1906 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1958 subsequent work
National Register Number: 69000360
Significance: Completed in 1813, the Virginia Executive Mansion bears the distinction of being the oldest, continuously occupied governor's residence in the United States. Boston architect Alexander Parris designed the Federal style residence and construction was undertaken by Christopher Tompkins. Parris' square plan included a wide center hall with beautifully detailed arches, plaster frieze and two stairways, a wide principal stair and a narrower service stair. The Executive Mansion is an elegant Federal structure. Embellished with three porches, the front or west entry is the most ornate. Corinthian columns, paneled double doors, side lights and transom adorned with mullioned tracery are typical of the Federal style. The hip roof culminates in a balustraded "captain's walk" framed by a double pair of chimneys. Parris' plan was enlarged in 1906 with an elliptical dining room addition designed by Duncan Lee, a Richmond architect. Also, at the same time, a large ballroom was created by removing the rear center hall partitions and replacing them with stately columns. Another major change came in 1958 with the addition of a library and a breakfast room at the rear, east end. Originally occupying a prominent knoll intended to give the occupants a view of the James River, the mansion now sits on "Captiol Square," surrounded by tall buildings. Its serene beauty, however, has been retained by stately gardens, bordered by English boxwood, dogwood, holly and magnolia.

Subjects
Mansions


Related Names
Parris, Alexander
Tompkins, Christopher
Lee, Duncan


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
West elevation
West elevation (duplicate of HABS VA-1242-1)


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