The best representative of the wealth of the Gilded Age in Petersburg is this magnificent two-and-a-half-story brick house in the Poplar Lawn neighborhood. Laid out in 1809, Poplar Lawn was a southern extension of Robert Bolling Jr.'s development (see DW40) and includes Central Park, which the city acquired in 1846. This house was built for the era's leading Southside attorney and Democratic Party leader, William McKenney. In his search for a sumptuous design, McKenney apparently overcame any reluctance he might have had to employ Waite, who was a Readjuster. For his political foe, Waite designed a fabulous house that included many of the era's fashionable elements, including a circular corner tower, an Eastlake front porch, extensive use of leaded and stained glass, ornamented terra-cotta recessed panels, and elaborately carved interior woodwork and fireplaces flanked by Italian tiles.
You are here
William McKenney House
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.