Elliott House 269 High Street
This Second Empire style home is unique in many respects. Its architectural features are unique in the neighborhood and reflect the local craftsmanship available during this historic period. It remains one of the most remarkable buildings in the area in terms of character and charm of its storybook facade.
Backstory and Context
This home was built circa 1876 by contractor A. A. Traylor as a Victorian clapboard house, or Second Empire style. Two stories exhibit a weatherboard siding and the basement foundation is made of brick. The projecting five-sided angular portion on the front is an interesting feature. There are many noteworthy elements on the exterior of the residence, including a mansard roof, cast iron roof cresting, and carved porch trim. A rear porch was added around 1889. Projecting wings were also added before the turn of the century. The original color of the home was yellow. Openings of the home include a double-door front entrance with glad panels at the top half and glass arched transom above. Windows are varied by floor and position – double-hung six light sash basement windows, double-hung one light per sash with flat scrolled trim flared at the top, second floor one-over-one sash, and rear wind six-over-six. The doorway and projection of the porch has a cantilevered roof with ornate brackets on each side. The porch is further supported by pipe columnns. Five arched, one-over-one dormers exist – two on the front, one on each side, and one on the rear. Decorative iron fencing along the front concrete sidewalk exists, along with a brick walk leading up to the front entrance.
The interior contains remarkable finishes and architecture as well. The one stairway serves the entire building with carved railings and balusters. Wood floors exist throughout, except for the basement area. The majority of the home still has plaster walls and ceilings. Some walls in the basement reveal exposed brick. There is a large sliding double door on the first floor connecting the two main rooms. These dark paneled wood doors have a decorative transom below the lintel with spindles extending. The second floor doors all have three paneled glass transoms. The rich, dark brown newel post in the front hall is four-sided and slants inward slightly. This is capped by two carved knobs, one large with a smaller above it. Decorative iron hearths and grates were in the attic. One remaining hanging fixture exists in the hallway which is original to the home and was formerly gas-burning. Mantels have inlaid marble.
“Elliot House, 269 High Street, Petersburg, Virginia.” Survey (photographs, measured drawings, written historical and descriptive data), Historic American Buildings Survey, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1968. From Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (HABS VA, 27-PET, 34--1; http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/114_habs.html accessed March 15, 2018).Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. (1974, July). Architectural—Historic Inventory Card. City of Petersburg Department of Planning and Economic Development.