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


With the noteworthy exception of Monument Avenue, which has block immediately after block of architect-designed properties, Richmond’s Supporter District is comprised mainly of attractive, spec-created houses that were being sold far more than 100 a long time ago to a middle class taking pleasure in the newfound skill to acquire a home with a mortgage.

It was a turning level for homeownership. Before then, even rich Richmonders frequently rented their homes. Commencing in the late 19th century, however, new lending solutions allowed even typical wage earners the prospect to personal a house.

In reaction, regional construction businesses – some fairly massive, like Davis Brothers Inc. – developed full blocks of households to satisfy the rising desire. You can stand these days on some of the Fan’s most architecturally putting streets and admire their operate.  

You could possibly recognize anything else when you’re admiring the streetscape: The eye-catching particulars in the cornices, turrets and colonnaded porches may modify, but the simple bone construction is usually recurring, house immediately after property.

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And even though there are not lots of, the Fan does have pockets of architect-developed residences. The western portion of the 1500 block of Park Avenue is a person of them.

“The homes on the japanese stop of the block are prototypical urban Fan residences,” said Mimi Sadler, an historic architect and founder of Sadler & Whitehead Architects PLC.  “They have Colonial Revival information, but they’re basically late-Victorian forms, with granite lintels, projecting bays and curved turrets. Lots of have stored their porches.”

She included: “They have a prosperous wide range in detailing, but the massing factors are repeated.”

By contrast, the residences on the western portion of the block – designed on land that grew to become obtainable in the early 1910s immediately after Richmond College or university moved its campus even further west – are custom made-created, and their character and scale is substantially more suburban.

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

Perhaps not incredibly, a few architects with some of the most placing houses on Westover Highway also developed homes in the 1500 block.

W. Duncan Lee, 1 of Richmond’s most regarded architects of the 1st fifty percent of the 20th century, designed the homes at 1516, 1530 and 1534 Park Avenue. 

Otis K. Asbury, one of the city’s most effusively creative architects of the 1910s and 1920s, designed the residences at 1514 and 1518 Park Avenue. And Carl Lindner Sr. made the Colonial Revival-design residence at 1536 Park Avenue.

With its hipped-roof dormers, paired chimneys and Corinthian pilasters flanking the front entrance, Lindner’s style and design can take its inspiration from Westover, the 18th-century plantation mansion constructed by the Byrd spouse and children in Charles Town County.  And it’s extra academic and traditionally accurate than several Colonial Revival-encouraged Lover properties, Sadler mentioned.

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

Furthermore, Asbury’s property at 1514 Park Avenue attracts on the English cottage motif with a innovative design and style that incorporates a richly comprehensive, hooded entry deep, bracketed eaves and a steep, pink-tile roof.

“It has a hipped roof at a single finish, and the gable dives into a parapet on the other,” Sadler claimed.  “It would make you seem a few or 4 instances to see all the things that’s likely on.”

All those sorts of architectural information distinguish the block, as does the pocket park the properties confront.

“Lombardy Park gives the block so significantly of its allure,” Sadler stated.

Residence dimensions in the 1500 block range from around 3,000 to 5,000 sq. toes, with the larger sized types standing in the western portion, reported Chris Smaller, a serious estate broker and president of Modest & Associates.

Customers searching to shift to the block may have to be client – and be organized to have interaction in a bidding war.

“Only 1 or two come on the current market in the class of an average yr,” Tiny claimed. “There’s just 13 residences on the block, and some of the homeowners have lived there a extended time.”

Compact was the listing agent for the block’s most recent sale – the 3,217-square-foot dwelling at 1508 Park Avenue. The sale shut on March 31.

“We experienced 100 showings in excess of a 4-day interval, and 100 people attended every of the two open up residences we held,” Compact mentioned.  “On the fifth working day, we reviewed offers. 6 were being more than $1.2 million, and the household finally sold for $1.255 million – $250,000 above the asking selling price.

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


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