Some of the best examples of early to mid twentieth century architecture in Richmond are found in Reeveston Place. Reeveston is a unique Richmond neighborhood because its plan and development were primarily influenced by the trends and styles of the early and mid-twentieth century. It is one of the few planned historic suburbs in Richmond.
As it grew, Reeveston was primarily a neighborhood for the upper-middle and upper class families of Richmond. Several prominent architects were employed to design the houses. While the architecture of Reeveston is typical in the sense that it was the same as that which was popular throughout the rest of the country, this neighborhood produced a result different from many contemporary suburbs.
The large lots and developed landscaping created a special setting of styles that were used at that time. Reeveston Place is the best example of a group of intact early 20th century architecture in Richmond. The period of significance, 1835-1945, includes the early homes of the district and extends through its point as a leading suburb of Richmond.
The 91 acre neighborhood was first deeded to James and Miriam Johnson. Johnson sold the land to Joseph P. Plummer in 1834. Plummer was a merchant who moved to Richmond in 1823, and built a farmhouse living there until his wife, Lydia’s death. The farm was called “Peacedale” and his home is located at 426 South 17th Street (formerly 425 South 16th Street.
In 1853 Mark E. Reeves bought the farm from Plummer. His family came to Richmond in 1823 when Reeves was a boy. He and his brother James were successful businessmen in Richmond and Cincinnati, and founded the First National Bank in Richmond.
In 1867 Reeves built his Second Empire style home at 1710 Reeveston Road. The original entrance to the Reeves estate still stands on South 16th Street between 215 and 219 South 16th Street. Mr. Reeves died in 1883. The property was left to his wife Caroline. When Caroline died in 1911, the land passed on to her daughter Mary (Mrs. William Dudley Foulke) and four granddaughters. After a few months following Caroline’s death plans were underway to subdivide Reveeston and develop it for residential housing.
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