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May-Macfarland House

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c. 1808. 244 High St.

Constructed for lawyer Benjamin Watkins Leigh, this house was soon sold to Judge Fitzhugh May, later the owner of Battersea (DW44). The dwelling Leigh built was extraordinary for Petersburg. Pedimented gable-fronted brick residences were a fashionable alternative to more traditional forms but only a few dotted the Virginia landscape. Perhaps the best known are the Moses Myers House in Norfolk and the John Marshall House in Richmond. The house's brick water table, flat arches embellished with decorated keystones, and elaborate doorway provide details as urbane as the form of the dwelling. This house type is square in plan with paired entertaining rooms at the rear, but instead of the lateral passage, here the front space is divided into a central entrance flanked by a small heated parlor to one side and a stair passage on the other.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "May-Macfarland House", [Petersburg, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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