1000 West Grace Street
Built, 1898 – 1901
Architect, Baskervill & Son
Right across from where the Village used to be, there stood a hospital.
This is one of the main Hospitals of Richmond, which, with the Medical Colleges, have made the City known for and wide as a health resort. Richmond Hospitals are second to none.
Drs. Hunter and Stuart McGuire’s private sanatorium, corner of Grace and Harrison Streets, Richmond, Va.
St. Luke’s was founded in 1883 by Dr. Hunter McGuire, a Winchester native. The surgeon, one of the most esteemed figures of the Confederacy, served Stonewall Jackson’s corps in the Army of Northern Virginia. In 1863, it was McGuire who amputated Jackson’s arm after a bullet wound that would prove fatal and he was present in April 1865 when Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox.
A year after he opened St. Luke’s Hospital on West Grace Street, McGuire died, and his son, Dr. Stuart McGuire, took over. Despite closing its doors temporarily during World War I when the younger McGuire went to work in war-torn France, St. Luke’s later expanded. A fourth floor was added in 1906, and in the 1920s four contiguous townhouses, just west of the hospital, were added to the complex.
Today, the corner is the home of the Grace and Harrison, Broad and Ryland Student Housing, completed and occupied since the above photo was taken.
Curiously, in the acquisition of the postcard at top, the vendor included a surprise – almost unnoticed and thrown away! No note of explanation included, nothing to actually link it concretely with the hospital, other than the legend engraved on the stem.
And yet, this spoon might just be a survivor of the St. Luke’s cafeteria’s creamed chipped beef.
- (rocket werks) RVA postcard collection.
- (Style Weekly) Up From the Asphalt. Edwin Slipek. August 5, 2014.
- (Valentine Museum) St. Luke’s Hospital circa 1940.
- (Valentine Museum) Recent graduates from the School of Nursing at St. Luke’s Hospital, 1968.
RVA Legends is a regular series
appearing on rocket werks – check it out!
RVA Legends — Manly B. Ramos & Co.
A look into the history of Richmond places that are no longer part of our landscape.
903 East Main Street
Purveyor of instruments and music publisher.
A firm controlled by musicians, who, having taught music, appreciate the wants of Music Teachers and the public. Three of their salesmen being organists of ability, they make selections of music to advantage and satistion. If a person’s trade amounts to only $1.00 a year, they are just as anxious to serve him as if he bought $500 worth.
They are Virginians. Twelve years’ experience in the musical business, and a desire to satisfy in every particular, is the foundation of their success. They are located in warerooms double the size of any similar establishment in the South, holding, besides their sheet music and small instruments, the agencies for the renowned Knabe, Emerson and Behring Pianos, and also the Packard, and Dyer, and Hughes Organs.
The business methods of this widely known house, are conducted on such a high plane that every customer becomes a friend. It would be well to get their catalogue, which is sent free of charge. [IOR]
It is a true buzzkill that Rocket Werks was unable to find a recording of the Staunton Grand March, so we can only imagine what dulcet tones of martial splendor we’re missing out on. Although if any brave soul in the audience knows how to play the piano and wants to take a crack at it, Duke University Libraries has the complete sheet music just waiting for you. It would make you like a history musicologist or something.
Construction of the Mutual Building, first of Richmond’s early high-rises, in 1924, posed problems for Manly B. Ramos & Co.’s 903 East Main location. That building was razed and Ramos had to skedaddle, moving just up the street to 721.
(Manly B. Ramos is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)
- [IOR] Industries of Richmond. James P. Wood. 1886.
Must-See RVA! — Norman Stewart House
A look into the history of Richmond places that are still part of our landscape.
AKA, Stewart-Lee House
707 East Franklin Street
The General’s pad. You know… him.
In early time the whole square bounded by Seventh, Eighth, Franklin, and Main Streets was occupied by the home of Archibald Blair, Secretary of the Council of State. The garden was adorned with trees and shrubbery and a pond, fed by a spring. After Blair’s death the property was divided into lots, most of those on Franklin Street being sold to Norman Stewart who erected five brick houses there, known as Stewart’s Row.
Norman Stewart, first of that family to emigrate from Rothesay in Scotland to Virginia, had come out before 1806 and engaged in the business of buying and selling leaf tobacco. His nephews John and Daniel Stewart later joined him in Richmond. Norman Stewart remained a bachelor and lived in this house after building it in 1844, renting the others in the row.
His great-nephew gives an amusing picture of the younger members of the family stopping after service at St. Paul’s, before the long drive to “Brook Hill,” to have a glass of sherry and some stale sponge-cake with their uncle; of the latter’s vanity in concealing his red hair under a brown wig; and of his true Scotch thrift in having his servant unravel his old stockings to darn his new ones!
At his death in 1856 Norman Stewart left this house to his nephew John. During the Civil War Mr. Stewart rented it to General Custis Lee and some brother-officers, and in 1864-65 Lee’s mother and sisters occupied it, so that it was General Robert E. Lee’s home during his brief stays in Richmond. Mrs. Chesnut describes the life there at this time:
Then we paid our respects to Mrs. Lee. Her room is like an industrial school: everybody so busy. Her daughters were all there plying their needles, with several other ladies. When we came out someone said, “Did you see how the Lees spend their time? What a rebuke to the taffy parties.”
After the Surrender, Lee rode to Richmond on Traveller. His son Robert writes:
On April 15th he arrived in Richmond. The people there soon recognized him; men, women and children crowded around him cheering and waving hats and handkerchiefs. It was more like the welcome to a conqueror than to a despised prisoner on parole. He raised his hat in response to their greetings and rode quietly to his home on Franklin Street, where my mother and sisters were anxiously awaiting him.
But General Lee found life in Richmond with the constant stream of callers too exhausting and in the latter part of June, 1865 moved his family to the country. Thence they moved to Lexington, after his call to be president of Washington College. His actual residence in the Stewart house was thus slightly over two months. When he tried to pay Mr. John Stewart rent, the latter wrote him that “the payment must be in Confederate currency, for which alone it was rented to your son.”
Later, the house was rented to judge Anthony M. Keiley, who lived there while he was Mayor of Richmond, 1871-76. Judge Keiley figured in an international incident, the Italian government indicating that he was persona non grata, when he was named ambassador, because he had taken a prominent part in a meeting of Richmond Roman Catholics who had protested the Pope’s being deprived of his temporal power.
In 1879 the Westmoreland Club, which had been founded two years earlier, occupied the Stewart house. During the ’eighties it was the home of William O. English and Robert N. Gordon. Mr. English had married Miss Jessie Gordon, head of one of the many well-known schools for girls.
The school had been in existence since 1855 and during the ’eighties occupied this house. The Stewart family continued, evidently, to feel as John Stewart had when he wrote General Lee, refusing to accept rent: You do not know how much gratification it is, and will afford me and my whole family during the remainder of our lives, to reflect that we have been brought into contact, and to know and to appreciate you and all that are dear to you.
In 1893 Mrs. Stewart and her daughters gave the house, forever associated with General Lee’s brief stay in Richmond, to the Virginia Historical Society, to be the headquarters of that organization. Although the interest of the house is largely its connection with the Lees and with the Stewart family, which has meant much to Richmond, it is worth study architecturally as a good example of a Greek Revival house of the three-story, “shoe-box” type.
Among dozens of houses of this plan, many of them still standing, this is the only one in excellent condition or likely to he preserved. That it is good of its sort is evident from a comparison with the Maury house, for example. One can easily see that the Stewart-Lee house is far better proportioned and much more pleasing in detail.
The handsome iron fence with pineapple posts is identical, except for the gate, with that of the Barret house, built in the same year. Unfortunately the appearance of the house is greatly injured at present by a large gasoline advertisement which masks the doorway when it is approached from the east. [HOR]
Renovated in 2001 by the Home Builders Association of Virginia, it served as their offices for a while, but they have since relocated to 1051 East Cary, and the building is available for lease.
General Lee cribbed here and there’s no escaping it. On the one hand, that’s great. This sole remaining structure of the original Stewart’s Row survives because he lived here, and you would have few other references to indicate that this portion of Franklin Street was once a residential neighborhood. And… yeh, he was extraordinarily skillful and a key figure in one of the defining moments of the nation’s history.
But it was him and the Confederacy and Jim Crow and all the other muck that comes with the stain of the Confederate cause. Preserve it? Absolutely. Forget? Not a chance.
(Norman Stewart House is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)
- [HOR] Houses of Old Richmond. Mary Wingfield Scott. 1941.
- [IEAHS] Inventory of Early Architecture and Historic Sites. Jeffrey Marshall O’Dell. 1976.
- [MCR] Map of the City of Richmond, Virginia, 1861-65. Richmond Civil War Centennial Committee. 1961.
Must-See RVA! is a regular series
appearing on rocket werks – check it out!
RVA Legends — James Dunlop House
A look into the history of Richmond places that are no longer a part of our landscape.
101 North Fifth Street
The house that turned into a hotel.
On January 20, 1844 James Dunlop bought the half-acre lot, number 568, the price of $8000 proving how popular Fifth Street was at that time. This site had the further attraction of being considered the highest elevation in the city, Thomas P. Watkins, the surveyor, having built himself a small frame house there when he ascertained its unique advantage. That house was immediately demolished by Mr. Dunlop, and the mansion was built within the year.
James Dunlop (who was born in Richmond in 1801) spent the rest of his life in the house he had built. He had married Ann Dent McRae, daughter of Alexander McRae and it was in this house that the widow of Alexander McRae died. Dunlop was a partner in the ante-bellum firm of Dunlop, Moncure & Co., auctioneers and commission merchants, which was located at the northwest corner of Cary and Eleventh Streets.
After the War this firm became Dunlop & McCance and devoted itself exclusively to milling. One of the founders of St. Paul’s Church, Mr. Dunlop was a member of the vestry from 1844 until his death in 1875, at which time he was treasurer. Passing resolutions on his loss, the members of the vestry described him as “the gentle, genial, generous friend.”
Mrs. Dunlop continued to live there until her death, following which it was the home for about five years of James Alfred Jones. W. Brydon Tennant owned it for a similar period, and in 1899 it was sold to Walter Blair, a grandson of Parson Blair. Mr. Blair lived there until his death, and his daughter, Miss Ellen Blair, continued to make it her home.
She sold it in 1928, and it was demolished in that year to be the site of the John Marshall Hotel.
The Dunlop house, built at the same time as the Barret house and in the main very similar to it, had several marked differences. The front porch was heavier and there were no triple windows. The chimneys were placed toward the centre of the house instead of on the outer wall, a much less awkward plan.
The chief feature of the Dunlop house was the magnificent portico in the rear, with its great columns instead of the modest square pillars of the Barret house. Although the porch had two floors, the upper one was somewhat masked so that the effect was more like the Van Lew and Hayes-McCance houses than like those being built in the years just before the Dunlop house.
The portico of the Nolting house is evidently copied from this one. The Dunlop house was beautifully kept up, to the very end, and the pearl-grey stucco and white trim, the secluded garden surrounded by its high brick wall, and the tall portico made it a place of romance and beauty. [HOR]
(James Dunlop House is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)
- A special shout-out goes to Ray Bonis of The Shockoe Examiner and VCU’s James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections & Archives fame. Ray hipped Rocket Werks to the fact that the Library of Congress had recently added digital copies of both the 1886 and 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Richmond, in addition to their well-known 1905 edition. Not only are these maps a gold mine for the researcher, used here for the first time, they are also gorgeous to behold. If looking at antiquated municipal street maps is your thing. It’s… not for everybody. Okay, move along!
- [HOR] Houses of Old Richmond. Mary Wingfield Scott. 1941.