Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The James M. Williams House, Petersburg, VA

The Williams House, Petersurg, VA. 1879 Photo: R. W. Dawson
This house, a few lots down on South Market Street, was constructed, according to its NRHP nomination in 1879 for James Williams, a grocer and mill owner. The house features the same window treatment as the Scott house, part of the style of Petersburg's Market Street. The Williams house, however, was constructed over twenty years after the Scott house, reflecting the continuing popularity of this composition and of Italianate well into the 1880s. Like the Scott house, it has a symmetrical plan, but here the central bay projects from the facade and is topped by a gable. The cornice is paneled, and the regularity and elaborateness of the panels reflects its later date. An interesting aspect is that under the triangular gable cornice's architrave curves, a very interesting mixing of shapes. The window treatments are far simpler, being confined to stone hoods. The house sits on a high basement with a stone belt course. Ironwork balconies connect the double windows on the first floor and ironwork is present above the porch too, which in its bulbous column composition reflects 1870s design. This house provides an excellent foil for the Scott house, showing some of the changes taste can create when applied to an older precedent.


  1. One of my faves in happy Petersburg...... I know it well and love it....... even if Robert tortures me every chance he gets......:p


  2. My grandparents house, 629 High Street in Petersburg, is a slightly less ornate, frame Italianate built somewhat after The War and before 1880.

    1. Original porch had "wings" to either side. Ironwork, electricity, some new mantles, oak floors, service wing alterations made during early 1900's renovations.