Dr. William H. Pitts House
Constructed in 1854 by Adam Hickman, a local builder and town councilman, the house at 247 E. Main Street is unique among Abingdon’s historic homes. Designed in the popular Greek Revival style of the mid-19th-Century, this house is unique to Abingdon as it one of the few to feature a stucco exterior and stepped parapet gable ends. Dr. William Pitts, a physician and Civil War surgeon, purchased the home from Hickman in 1859 and lent his name to the house. The house has remained privately owned since. The Dr. William H. Pitts House was designated a Virginia Landmark on September 12, 2001 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 1, 2002.
Backstory and Context
The Dr. William H. Pitts House at 247 E. Main is one of Abingdon’s most unique homes. Constructed in 1854 by local builder Adam Hickman. Hickman was responsible for constructing many of Abingdon’s well-known buildings such as the neighboring Cave House and the now-demolished Swedenborgian Church. Hickman’s 1854 house is a two-story, five-bay wide Greek Revival style home with a central recessed entrance. What distinguishes this residence from all others in Abingdon’s historic downtown is the stucco exterior and stepped parapets on both gable ends. A two-story wood-frame addition was erected to the rear of the house sometime during the late 19th-Century or early 20th-Century. While several other alterations occurred to the property, the house retains a significant amount of historic integrity.
Adam Hickman was prominent individual in Abingdon during the mid 19th-Century. He served on the town council, constructed many well-known buildings in town, and owned many other properties. When he completed this house, Hickman first leased it to John W. Stevens. Stevens was a tailor who owned and operated a shop across the street. However, Hickman sold the house to Dr. William H. Pitts in 1859. Pitts, who was a physician, moved to Abingdon from Richmond a year prior. During the Civil War, Pitts became one of the five surgeons at Abingdon’s Confederate hospital. Pitts passed away on May 25, 1869. Since then, the house has passed through several owners and remains privately owned today.The Dr. William H. Pitts House was designated a Virginia Landmark on September 12, 2001 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 1, 2002.
140-0022 Dr. William H. Pitts House. Virginia Department of Historic Resources. April 4, 2018. April 2, 2019. https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/historic-registers/140-0022/.
Thomason and Associates Preservation Planners. Architectural Survey Report. Virginia Department of Historic Resources. December 1998. April 2, 2019. https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/pdf_files/SpecialCollections/WG-060_AH_Survey_Abingdon_1998_THOM_report.pdf.