211 West Franklin Street
This beautifully preserved example of late Greek Revival was built on a corner of the old Robert Greenhow place, for many years the home of Joseph Mayo. This house was built in 1852 by the trustees for Mrs. Sarah Howard. From 1854 to 1860 it was the property and home of Anthony Robinson Jr., and from 1868 to 1880 it belonged to Z. W. Pickrell, president both of a large lumber company and of the Citizens’ Bank.
In 1880 it was bought by William H. Palmer, head of the Southern Fertilizing Company, whose daughter, Mrs. W. O. Young, still occupies it. Having been in the same family for over sixty years, the house is most readily associated with the Palmers.
The house is a typical example of the three-story dwelling of this period. What chiefly distinguishes it (in addition to its perfect condition) is the entrance porch, which is of the purest type of classic revival.
In some of these late neo-Greek residences the builders seem to have lost the memory of what Greek orders were like, and the result is often a debased attempt at suitable columns, capitals, and entablature. The Palmer house porch is a delight, in perfect proportion to the size of the house. The only noticeable change is the large panes of glass which have been put in the elongated windows of the first floor.
Palmer himself appears to be one of those busy bee executives in the manner of Norman Randolph that Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James carefully depicts at length.
Not only did he lead Southern Fertilizing Company, but he was also President of the City Bank of Richmond and Virginia Fire & Marine Insurance Company and at one time or another served as a Director of the National Bank of Virginia, J. L. Hill Printing Company, and the Richmond Locomotive and Machine Works. Must have been nice to be so well connected. Convenient too; the two banks and the insurance company stood just a few yards away from each other on Main Street.
(Palmer House is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)
- [HOR] Houses of Old Richmond. Mary Wingfield Scott. 1941.
- [RVCJ03] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1903.
Must-See RVA! is a regular series
appearing on rocket werks – check it out!
Photos: Faces of a Parade
We took some traditional parade photos but have decided to go a little more intimate and focus on the faces you see during the Dominion Christmas Parade.
Virginia launches expanded rail service from Richmond to Washington and New York City
The Amtrak Northeast Regional Route 51 now offers early morning service from Main Street Station, getting travelers from Downtown Richmond to Washington when the workday begins or to New York for a lunchtime meeting.
Recently, Governor Ralph Northam and Secretary Valentine joined DRPT and the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) to launch expanded rail service from Richmond to Washington and cities along the Northeast corridor. The Amtrak Northeast Regional Route 51 now offers early morning service from Main Street Station, getting travelers from Downtown Richmond to Washington when the workday begins or to New York for a lunchtime meeting.
The new train is the first expansion of service under Governor Northam’s Transforming Rail in Virginia program to significantly expand rail infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth. The event ended with a ribbon-cutting and the inaugural train heading out of Main Street Station at 5:35 am with the Governor, state officials, and DRPT/VPRA staff on board. Early ridership numbers indicate healthy demand for the extended service.
The Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative is already receiving recognition throughout the country for its role in changing the future of transportation. At the District of Columbia’s Committee of 100’s bi-annual award ceremony, DRPT received a 2021 Vision Award recognizing the Transforming Rail in Virginia Program. Director Jennifer Mitchell accepted the award on behalf of DRPT, Governor Northam, and the Virginia General Assembly.
Shockoe Illuminates Throws the Switch Tonight
Shockoe Illuminates will be Dec. 3rd at the 17th Street Market. They’ll have local artisans with one-of-a-kind presents, boozy hot drinks provided by amazing restaurants, kids activities, carolers, roller skating, and more! Loads of information at the 17th Street Market Facebook.
Did you catch that there is roller skating?
We don’t need ice to have fun and skate! During Shockoe Illuminates on Dec. 3rd you can roller skate and then come back all weekend for more fun! $10 to rent skates or bring your own.
- 12/3 5:00-9:00
- 12/4 4:00-8:00
- 12/5 3:00-7:00