Perhaps my favorite Richmond Virginia architect is William Lawrence Bottomley, although Richmond was not his true home. Bottomley designed numerous meaningful and historically significant homes in Richmond, but it is perhaps a lesser known fact that he contributed to what many might consider a modest detail of importance at Virginia House.
One of Richmond Virginia's most interesting and historic homes sits overlooking the James River at the back of the exclusive Windsor Farms neighborhood. Virginia House completed construction only months prior to the stock market crash of 1929, and is a tale of romance and interest on its own.
It was the dream of Virginia & Alexander Weddell to construct a home from the materials of a sixteenth century English manor house. They engaged architect Henry Grant Morse, who was primarily a designer of public buildings. Morse traveled in the English countryside with Mr. and Mrs. Weddell as they looked for a model for the house they hoped to build in Windsor Farms. Virginia House is a structure still standing today. Unfortunately the house and gardens are now only open by appointment, but certainly worth a visit.
William Lawrence Bottomley designed many homes in Windsor Farms, but between the years of 1944-46 he designed a Loggia for Virginia House. He incorporated columns imported from Spain to be located on the south side of the home. The painted ceiling in the Loggia came in part from a sixteenth-century house that once stood on the site of Knole in England. The importing of materials from England was in keeping with Morse's intended design/construction concepts.
There are some additional interesting details Bottomley added on the Loggia worth noting, but we'll save that for your tour! Virginia House is located at 4301 Sulgrave Road, Richmond, VA, Phone: 804.353.4251
Research performed through the Virginia Historical Society