Battersea Foundation hosts Holiday Homes Tour
The second annual tour features historic properties and live entertainment
PETERSBURG — Last year’s Petersburg holiday homes tour to benefit Battersea Foundations was such an enormous success they’re doing it again this year. The 2nd annual Historic High St. Area Holiday Homes Tour will take place on Sunday, Dec. 10 from 12-5 p.m. The event will be a scenic walking tour featuring eight of Petersburg’s oldest and most unique homes located on three streets—High Street, Market Street, and Petersburg’s first street, Grove Avenue—full of historic landmarks. Drive a few short miles down the road and visit historic Battersea Villa, the beneficiary of this eagerly anticipated event. Delight in the live music and costumed reenactors who will add ambiance and authenticity to the holiday atmosphere.
Tickets are available for $20 now through Dec. 9 at www.PetersburgHomesTour.com, at any Battersea Event, www. batterseafound.org, or at Petersburg Pickers, 110 Guarantee Street in Petersburg, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $25 the day of the tour and can be purchased exclusively at Ammo Brewing, 235 N. Market Street in Petersburg from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. About The Homes
The Trapezium House: The Trapezium House, is a Flemish bond brick, Federal style, slate roofed trapezoid shaped structure. Built in 1816 by Irish immigrant, Charles O’Hara, the home’s unique shape was conceived from O’Hara’s West Indian servant, who believed it was good luck to have no right angles in a home. Furnished in period antiques, the site serves as an office and art studio for “Buddy” a very accomplished painter. The Trapezium House is located at 244 N. Market Street and is owned by Judge Oliver Pollard.
Market 406: This Federal brick dwelling, built as a mercantile grocery, is a superb representation of the current trend of restoring properties to their past uses as both living and working space. The owners, experts in architectural design and repurposing, reside above their antique shop, Market 406. Their second-floor apartment has many original features, including fireplaces, molding, and evidence of prior renovations. The roof deck serves as a gateway to their beautiful outdoor surroundings. Market 406 is located at 406 N. Market Street, was built circa 1810, and is owned by Joan Gardiner and Kevin Mullis. The Charles Leonard House: The Charles Leonard House, an Italianate, frame mansion, capped with the original belvedere, was built by A.A. Traylor. Purchased by English-born hardware merchant Charles Leonard in the 1890s, the property boasts eight fireplaces and mantles, original floors, and a dominate front staircase. The beautifully landscaped grounds feature the original kitchen house which Leonard converted to servants’ quarters, a Revolutionary era stone wall, and the remains of a prior 18th century dwelling, partially located under the current house. The Charles Leonard House is located at 280 High Street, was built circa 1867, and is owned by Thomas B. III and Brenda K. Redfern.
Dodson’s Tavern: Dodson’s Tavern, a frame clapboard Federal/modified late Georgian home was a favorite of last year’s tour. Impeccably landscaped and furnished in rare early American and primitive antiques, the site was frequented by many dignitaries including Robert E. Lee, Marquis de Lafayette, and Aaron Burr. Owned by the Dodson/Pegram families for the first 180 years, design features include a large hearth in the original winter kitchen in the English basement and the detached summer kitchen converted to a guest house. Dodson’s Tavern is located at 311 High Street, was built circa 1789, and is owned by Bob and Bobbi Kennedy.
545 High Street: This stately, clapboard Federal house, is steeped in Revolutionary War heritage, as one of the owners Erasmus Gill, served as a Captain in the Continental Army under George Washington, and the other, George Hay, was the special prosecutor for America’s first treason
trial against Aaron Burr. The house features a huge staircase, and is furnished in a homey comfortable manner. The owners enjoy basking on one of two rear decks, overlooking the massive backyard that’s teeming with native birds of every variety. 545 High Street was built circa 1785 and is owned by Scott and Yvonne Flaherty. The Baird-Rambaut-LeMoine
House: The Baird-Rambaut-LeMoine House was constructed of beaded heart pine by John Baird, who lived next door, for his daughter. The original one and a half story colonial house, with corner fireplaces and an King of Prussia black marble fireplace, sports an 1810 Federal addition with a decorative plaster ceiling and carved arches in the living room. The house was extensively renovated in 2000 and is filled with family favorites. The
Baird-Rambaut-LeMoine House is located at 410 Grove Avenue, was built circa 1783, and is owned by Douglas and Marie Vargo. Addition to The Baird-Rambaut-LeMoine House: Nestled behind two of John Baird’s former properties, this charming dwelling was originally constructed as a kitchen house by Baird. It was expanded into a home around 1908 and renovated in 2008. Cozy warmth describes this charming cottagelike abode, with a large wood-burning fireplace, exposed beams, and stone walls. The addition to The Baird-Rambaut-LeMoine House is located by 416 Grove Avenue, was built circa 1807, and is owned by Cherry Turner.
514 Grove Avenue: Renovated in 2008, this single-family home was once two properties, 514 and 516 Grove Avenue, with living quarters in 516 and a mercantile store in 514. The two-story Tidewater Vernacular design is constructed of bead wood and shiplap siding with a cedar shingle roof. The house retains an original staircase and has an original Petersburg mantle in the living room. The original kitchen house for 516 was completely rebuilt from the foundation up. The property is breathtaking inside and out. 514 Grove Avenue was built circa 1834 and is owned by Walt and Roberta Purcell.
The Battersea Villa: Battersea is a substantial stuccoed brick house located north of Upper Appomattox Street in the city of Petersburg, near the south bank of the Appomattox River. Even though the 37+ acre property is bordered by a 19th-century neighborhood and a light industrial area, it still retains its historic rural character. The house was built in 1768 by Colonel John Banister, the first Mayor of Petersburg and a signer of the Articles of Confederation. Battersea was designed and built as a symmetrical five-part Anglo-Palladian house featuring a two-story central block, one-story wings that act as hyphens, and one-and-a-half story end pavilions. One-story columned porticos mark
the entrances on the front, back, and sides of the house. The plan of the interior reflects the five-part massing of the exterior, presenting a symmetrical single-pile plan with rooms extending to either side of the central block. The designer of the house is unknown.
Battersea is one of the earliest and finest surviving examples of a five-part, Robert Morris-style Palladian house form in the United States, and is the earliest surviving, fully developed example of this house type in Virginia. Battersea represents a refined and original synthesis of ideas from Andrea Palladio and Robert Morris, copying neither but reinterpreting ideas from both to meet 18th-century American needs. The five-part house form was a basic manifestation of Palladianism in both Britain and America, which enjoyed popularity in the United States during the 18th and early-19th centuries. Today, Battersea is a rare and unusually sophisticated survival of this form. Some of the finest early nineteenth century Classically-inspired architectural detailing resulted–distinctive in its period expression and craftsmanship–within the framework of the Palladian form. The later work shows a rare understanding of the derivation of the Palladian form and a clear intention to work within the parameters of this style. Battersea is therefore eligible for national significance under Criterion C in the area of architecture. The Battersea Villa is located at 1289 Upper Appomattox Lane and was built circa 1768.
UK native and resident Phil Lewis painted and donated the delightful renditions of the homes on tour. The eight paintings of the homes will be on display at Ammo Brewing, 235 N. Market Street during the tour. Live entertainment for the event includes costumed reenactors, flutist Iris Schwartz, the Dale Traylor Band, and more. Tour guidelines, including parking information and what to bring, can be found at www.PetersburgHomesTour.com. –Battersea Foundation is a non-profit organization in Petersburg, Virginia. The Foundation’s mission is to preserve Historic Battersea and offer educational, artistic and cultural experiences that inform, enrich and inspire the public. The events held at Battersea offer the perfect opportunity to continue moving forward fulfilling this mission. Historic Battersea is an 18th century Palladian Villa located on the Appomattox River in Petersburg’s west end. The Villa was built in 1768 by Col. John Banister, the first Mayor of Petersburg, a Revolutionary delegate, a Congressman and a signer of the Articles of Confederation. Battersea is an excellent example of Palladian style architecture, receiving national attention for its beauty and importance.
244 N. Market Street, Petersburg, VA; The Trapezium House; Judge Oliver Pollard.
280 High Street, Petersburg, VA; The Charles Leonard House; Thomas B. III and Brenda K. Redfern.
406 N. Market Street, Petersburg, VA; Market 406; Joan Gardiner and Kevin Mullis