|Camden, Port Royal, VA. 1857-59 Photos: HABS|
The tower was truly a lovely piece. The stump of it remains on the back of the house. From the designs, the base of the tower had an arched door like the front door that had a glass surround. The second stage copied the front as well with a triple arched window. The third stage was separated by a belt course and had semicircular windows that had jigsawed scroll work above them. The top of the tower had highly elongated brackets that filled the entire upper story. In the center were Palladian windows with balconies. The cornice had an arch in the center of each side that had anthemia (vegetable decorations at the peak of a gable) and palmettes. The whole was covered with a hip roof and an impressively tall spire. The tower would have been beathtaking and was certainly envisioned as the pearl of the entire composition. If anyone's looking to blow some money on a historic restoration...
Another interesting feature is the left facade of the house that has the servants' wing. This is simpler in detailing but nonetheless grand. A porch faces the front of the house. But the side has a reversal of the house's formula, with segmental arched windows on the first floor and round headed ones on the second. A pedimented door with a bracket surround (an interesting feature we have noticed in this area) is in the center bay. Another quirky detail are the paired tombstone blind arches on the chimney. The house betrays the careful thought and design of a real architect from tower to chimneys. Along with the Backus house, they remain two interesting Italianate works for this architect and deserve to be considered alongside each other. The interior also remains intact and retains some of the family's original furniture. All the following pictures are from HABS, and it is worth a look at their 38 photographs online.
Even the gasolier light fixtures are in place. This shows also the finely crafted plaster ceiling medallions.