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1828; 1841–1843 rebuilt. 1807 Big Island Hwy.

Otterburn was built for Benjamin and Sally Donald. Benjamin, who owned a plantation and gristmill and was active in local government, was the son of Scots merchant Andrew Donald (BD23). Otterburn was a typical two-story Classical Revival residence when built, but gutted by fire in 1841 it was remodeled into one of the region's most distinctive buildings. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest (BD26), it is a two-story house treated as a one-story composition. The almost square, cross-gabled house has a full-width porch carried on paired columns across the principal story, which is accessed by a double-curved staircase. An entablature with triglyphs supports the front gable that forms a central pediment. The Greek Revival interiors, patterned from Asher Benjamin's The Practical House Carpenter (1830), are as elaborate as the exterior.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


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Anne Carter Lee, "Otterburn", [Bedford, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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