618 – 620 North Twenty-seventh Street
Built, 1843 & 1847
Peas in a pod.
These twin houses were built in 1843 and 1847 by George Richardson. Which house was built first is of little importance, since the second was obviously copied from the first. The pair are well preserved and unaltered examples of the dwellings built under Greek Revival influence by small trades-people.
While preserving the general outlines of eighteenth-century houses, one room deep and two stories high, with a moderately sloped gable roof, they reveal their comparatively late date by the porches and the absence of early trim.
Both houses remained a long time in the Richardson family. Charles Richardson was a house-painter and willed the tools of his craft to his son and the house on the corner to his daughter, who sold it in 1891. The house next door remained in possession of a member of this family until 1913. [HOR]
In her other book, Old Richmond Neighborhoods, Mary Wingfield Scott describes these houses as situated near the fault lines of three different neighborhoods, Shed Town, Union Hill, and Church Hill. They were, in her view, unspoiled by design flaws of other houses around it built in the 1850’s, including scroll-saw verandahs, pebble-dash stucco, or large window-panes. [ORN]
Not that anyone has an opinion about those things, of course.
(Richardson Houses are part of the Atlas RVA Project)
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