Friday, November 5, 2010

More Dimmock Buildings Documented: The North Side of the 200 Block of E. Franklin St.

Post card image of 200 E. Franklin, corner of Second and E. Franklin St.

In an earlier Post we showed a rare postcard view of 200 E. Franklin St. (see the image above). After recently coming across a newspaper article ["Richmond's Growth" - Richmond Dispatch, April 27, 1890] on building in Richmond in 1890, we have documentation that the Richmond architectural firm headed by Marion J. Dimmock (1842-1908) was responsible for its design - along with three other buildings directly to the west - 202, 204, and 206.  

The article is quite long and quotes several builders and architects in the city - all talking about how much building is going on in Richmond. 

Here is the section quoting Dimmock:

From Richmond Dispatch, April 27, 1890.

The William Henry Jones house he mentions is 800 W. Franklin Street - it is now owned by VCU and a photograph of the Oscar Cranz house (now demolished) was published in an 1892 edition of the American Architect and Building News (we will add that image after we acquire it).  Dimmock had published a house design for the T. C. Leake family in the 1880s in American Architect and Building News so this may be a new discovery as well. The other four patrons he mentions all had their houses built in a row - see below.

  Marion J. Dimmock (1842-1908). 

"Second to the elder [Albert L.] West (1825-1892) in seniority [of practicing architecture in Richmond] was Captain Marion J. Dimmock (1842-1908). The 1893 Chamber of Commerce book attested that "the architecture of [Richmond], indeed, bears everywhere the impress of his constructive and artistic talent."
Dimmock's work included buildings of ecclesiastical, civic, commercial, industrial and residential use. Dimmock was made a Fellow of the AIA [American Institute of Architects] in 1888, and was elected to serve a one-year term on the board in 1891. The Jones-Williams House at 800 West Franklin Street (1890 -1891) was designed by Dimmock.
Dimmock is one of the most important figures in late nineteenth-century Richmond architecture. His influence was felt not only through his own work, but for his role in training younger architects, such as C.K. Bryant (c. 1872-c. 1935) and Duncan Lee (1884-1952). Dimmock was the only Virginia architect whose work was published consistently in the trade journal, American Architect and Building News."

Click on the image twice for a much larger view.

The row of four houses on the left, 200, 202, 204, and 206, located on the north side of the street, were built in 1890 and designed by the Richmond architectural firm of Marion J. Dimmock. These Richardsonian style buildings are long demolished. Many more of this style in Richmond, most built in the 1890s, survive west of Belvidere, along W. Franklin Street and on streets in the Fan District. This image is from Art Work of Richmond published in 1897.  This block is just east of Lindon Row.
From the 1892 Richmond directory we learn:
200 E. Franklin St. -  Dr. Joseph A. White, Jr., physician and senior surgeon to the Richmond Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Infirmary. 

202 E. Franklin St. - Robert G. Rennolds, secretary and treasurer of the Richmond Stove Co. 

204 E. Franklin St. - Dr. Robert B. Stover, physician.

206 E. Franklin St. - Dr. Charles W. P. Brock, physician.

Here is the 200 block of E. Franklin St. today - from Google Maps.

-- Ray B.

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