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Hancock-Wirt-Caskie House

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1808–1809. c. 1988, restoration. 2 N. 5th St. (corner of 5th and Main sts.)

The plan and form of this house, one of the city's finest surviving examples of the Federal style, were undoubtedly inspired by a scheme for a house in Richmond with semi-octagonal bays, designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. The two-story loggia is rare in Federal domestic architecture. With its fine Flemish bond brickwork and marble trim, this was a local showpiece. The original owner, Michael Hancock, lost the house almost immediately after it was built because of gambling debts to William Wirt. Wirt gained local fame as the author of a biography of Patrick Henry and attorney general of the United States under James Monroe and John Quincy Adams. After belonging to a mayor of Richmond, the house passed into the hands of the Caskie family, who owned it until the 1940s and preserved it. More recently it has served as attorneys' offices and has been restored. The interior woodwork is very fine.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Hancock-Wirt-Caskie House", [Richmond, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 217-217.

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