The 1500 block of Park Avenue: Stylish spec houses mix with custom-built properties | Featured real estate articles

Jene J. Long

With the notable exception of Monument Avenue, which has block just after block of architect-intended houses, Richmond’s Supporter District is comprised typically of elegant, spec-constructed residences that ended up offered additional than 100 decades ago to a middle class making the most of the newfound potential to obtain a residence with a mortgage loan.

It was a turning issue for homeownership. In advance of then, even wealthy Richmonders typically rented their properties. Starting in the late 19th century, while, new lending selections allowed even typical wage earners the opportunity to have a home.

In reaction, regional building firms – some comparatively substantial, like Davis Brothers Inc. – crafted total blocks of houses to meet the expanding demand. You can stand these days on some of the Fan’s most architecturally hanging streets and admire their operate.  

You could observe some thing else though you are admiring the streetscape: The eye-catching details in the cornices, turrets and colonnaded porches may transform, but the essential bone framework is often repeated, dwelling immediately after dwelling.

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And when there are not numerous, the Supporter does have pockets of architect-designed homes. The western portion of the 1500 block of Park Avenue is a person of them.

“The properties on the jap conclusion of the block are prototypical city Lover residences,” said Mimi Sadler, an historical architect and founder of Sadler & Whitehead Architects PLC.  “They have Colonial Revival facts, but they are essentially late-Victorian sorts, with granite lintels, projecting bays and curved turrets. A lot of have stored their porches.”

She added: “They have a rich variety in detailing, but the massing factors are repeated.”

By contrast, the properties on the western part of the block – designed on land that became available in the early 1910s right after Richmond University moved its campus even further west – are custom-made, and their character and scale is a great deal a lot more suburban.

“They’re extra like what you’d see on Westover Road” in the William Byrd Terrace community, Sadler claimed. “Most of Park Avenue is denser than the western part of the 1500 block.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, three architects with some of the most putting residences on Westover Road also built properties in the 1500 block.

W. Duncan Lee, just one of Richmond’s most acknowledged architects of the to start with fifty percent of the 20th century, designed the residences at 1516, 1530 and 1534 Park Avenue. 

Otis K. Asbury, a single of the city’s most effusively imaginative architects of the 1910s and 1920s, designed the residences at 1514 and 1518 Park Avenue. And Carl Lindner Sr. made the Colonial Revival-model dwelling at 1536 Park Avenue.

With its hipped-roof dormers, paired chimneys and Corinthian pilasters flanking the entrance entrance, Lindner’s structure can take its inspiration from Westover, the 18th-century plantation mansion created by the Byrd family members in Charles Metropolis County.  And it’s additional tutorial and traditionally exact than many Colonial Revival-encouraged Enthusiast residences, Sadler reported.

By distinction, Lee’s households at 1530 and 1534 Park Avenue evoke English cottages. Created for two brothers, the residences are twins of a sort, with steep jerkinhead or clipped-gable roofs.

Furthermore, Asbury’s household at 1514 Park Avenue attracts on the English cottage motif with a innovative layout that incorporates a richly thorough, hooded entry deep, bracketed eaves and a steep, red-tile roof.

“It has a hipped roof at a person end, and the gable dives into a parapet on the other,” Sadler stated.  “It would make you glance a few or four moments to see almost everything which is heading on.”

All those kinds of architectural aspects distinguish the block, as does the pocket park the houses face.

“Lombardy Park provides the block so considerably of its charm,” Sadler mentioned.

Home dimensions in the 1500 block assortment from approximately 3,000 to 5,000 sq. ft, with the bigger kinds standing in the western portion, reported Chris Smaller, a serious estate broker and president of Compact & Associates.

Prospective buyers on the lookout to go to the block may possibly have to be affected person – and be ready to engage in a bidding war.

“Only just one or two occur on the marketplace in the study course of an average yr,” Small stated. “There’s just 13 homes on the block, and some of the homeowners have lived there a extended time.”

Modest was the listing agent for the block’s most the latest sale – the 3,217-sq.-foot property at 1508 Park Avenue. The sale shut on March 31.

“We had 100 showings about a four-day period, and 100 individuals attended each and every of the two open properties we held,” Little reported.  “On the fifth day, we reviewed delivers. Six have been more than $1.2 million, and the home finally sold for $1.255 million – $250,000 about the inquiring price.

Editor’s be aware: This is an installment in the “Top Blocks” series, which appears to be at personal metropolis blocks that have historic or architectural importance.

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