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Trapezium House

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1816. 244 N. Market St.
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

One of the most idiosyncratic houses in Petersburg is the brick trapezium-shaped house built by Irish bachelor Charles O'Hara. Although his three-story side-passage house resembles other Federal structures in Petersburg in most ways, it has one outstanding difference. The walls follow the trapezoidal shape of O'Hara's lot and, as a result, none of them are parallel. A local folk story has it that O'Hara was advised by a West Indian servant that this would ward off evil spirits. For years, the residence was known as Rat Castle because of the pet rats kept by the undoubtedly eccentric O'Hara.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


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

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