Monument Avenue 3300 Block
Monument Avenue 3300 block is a project of the Historic American Buildings Survey undertaken in 1991. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the HABS documentation. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2013, The Gombach Group.
See also: Monument Avenue Historic District.
All along the Avenue, styles and forms that suggest the beginnings of a suburban attitude have appeared; on the 3300 block, the transition is in full swing. Originally part of the Sheppard estate, the 3300 block is the first section of Monument on which houses built after 1930 become part of the essential fabric of the street. Even some built during the 1920s belong more to the burgeoning world of suburban developments than to that of urban elegance, with their side yards and porches, smaller dimensions, and vernacular-influenced design. Development on the north and south sides of the 3300 block was more or less even, with eight houses erected between 1920 and 1930, four between 1935 and 1950, and four after 1950. Larger lots and smaller houses prevail, even as some maintain high-style elements borrowed from grander buildings down the street. With houses set more or less in the middle of their lots and a Jack of hospitable front porches, the suburban character of the block is more that of a later automobile suburb than that of a tightly arranged streetcar suburb. In 1924, the city condemned property to round the block corners at Monument and Roseneath; with the small bench at the southeastern corner on an open grassy lot, the intersection almost has the feel of a park.
The earliest house on the block, 3301, is a classic example of a type of Colonial Revival home popular from the 1920s through the 1950s. Although only 5' separate it from No. 3303, No. 3301 achieves an almost suburban effect with a shed-roofed side porch on its corner lot. The four-bay front has white louvered shutters and multi-light windows. On the pitched slate roof, three substantial hipped dormers light an attic story. The side porch and off-center broken pedimented entry porch are the most elaborate decorative elements, and they help to break up the regularity of the facade.
Ora E. Garner, a widow, bought this 50' front lot in 1919, had the house built and lived here until 1929; she then sold it to Virginia R. Sternheimer, who moved there with her husband, Frederick Sternheimer, the owner of an army goods store, from the Stafford apartments at 2007 Monument Ave. By 1958 Virginia had remarried, and with her new husband, Herbert Adler, sold the property to Lewis Sternheimer, who sold it in 1963 to the current owner.
A house similar to No. 3301 but one bay narrower was built in 1922 by the Davis Brothers at No. 3317, again with three dormers, side porch, and rear wing behind the porch. A pair of narrow windows sits above a modest entry.
Moving away from typical Colonial Revival massing is No. 3303, with two bays and two stories visible in the primary facade, and a 1-1/2 story recessed wing that includes a secondary entrance. Two steep cross gables poke out through the front cornice, and a heavy broken segmental pediment juts forward to create an entry porch. The Davis Brothers designed and built the house for a corporation, Bellevue Park Inc., in 1925.
On the north side of the street, houses built during the 1920s range from variations on the Colonial Revival theme to typical eclectic styles of the 1920s. Although not a true foursquare, No. 3306 alludes to the form; Craftsman influence includes braced overhanging eaves, a single wide dormer on a low hipped roof (also with braced eaves), and a porch that extends the full width of the house. The entrance door is surrounded by sidelights and transom window, with a single window above on the second floor; triple windows on both floors illuminate the right half of the house.
P. Albert Smith, an attorney, paid $3,500 for this lot at auction in 1921. The previous owners, Marie L. and Townsend A Parsons, held the land after the partitioning of the Sheppard estate in 1916, but defaulted on their $3,920 deed of trust. The house was built in 1922 at an approximate cost of $9,000 by J. W. Cunningham, with no architect named on the building permit P. Albert willed the property to his wife Ann DeLeisz Smith in 1928, and she sold it in 1944 to Sadie B. Levy. Sadie and her husband, Harry Levy, deeded it in 1950 to Ernest and May Bradshaw "as tenants," and May, then a widow, sold it in 1977.
Later houses built during the 1920s on the north side of the block include two Colonial Revival examples at Nos. 3312 and 3318. Both sit on relatively small lots, similar to small town houses farther east on the avenue, with three bays and two stories, flat mansard roofs, and off-center entries. Most exuberant on No. 3312 is the rounded front porch, supported by Corinthian columns and four pilasters, which looks like it was borrowed from a grander house down the street. The more modest porch on No. 3318 is essentially an extension of the tiled pent roof that separates the two floors. The shed-roofed wall dormer and tile roof on No. 3318 suggest a Mediterranean influence. A. W. Harmon designed No. 3312 in 1926; Matt P. Will designed No. 3318 in 1928.
As on most blocks west of Boulevard, 3300 has its quota of eclectic cottages, here built in the late 1920s-30s. All have two stories and two bays, and asymmetrical facades defined by front gables or slightly projecting wings.
The French Provincial cottage at No. 3302, built by 1929, has a wing that blends into the steep hipped roof line with flared eaves. The second-floor casement windows are identical, while the first-floor French doors are opposite a louvered entrance door; a brightly painted cornucopia cartouche accents the wing. Both Nos. 3300 and 3310 are Tudor Revival examples, although No. 3310, built in 1936 to designs by Matt P. Will, is a grimmer version. Front gables dominate on both, with triple windows at the first floor. A large slate-roofed oriel at No. 3310 projects from the gabled pavilion; the entrance is to the side, recessed behind a Tudor arch. The limestone trim on No. 3300, built in 1928 and designed by Carl Lindner, gives it a more cheerful facade, as does the half-timbering above the door and in the pediment of a perky entry porch.
From 1940 to 1963, seven more houses went up on the 3300 block, all two stories tall, brick, and Colonial Revival. The majority are wider than they are deep. In the 3300 block backyards attain a significance unknown on earlier sections of the avenue. Details are modest on all the post-1940 houses, with attention usually focused on a central entry. None features a large front porch; surface detail is limited to minor variations in brick work.
The buildings constructed in the 1940s—Nos. 3324, 3322, and 3319—are particularly consistent, each with three widely spaced bays, a low-pitched roof, and a central entry designated by a straight walkway, four steps, pilasters and a pediment. Although Nos. 3319 and 3322 are constructed of concrete blocks, all have similar brick facing, with splayed jack arches over the windows. A brick string course between the two floors emphasizes the horizontal on Nos. 3319 and 3324. Two-story side porches extend Nos. 3319 and 3324, and No. 3319 has a two-story wing as well. A one-story wing and a solarium balance each other on No. 3322, which was designed by owner Julius Novick in 1949. Matt Will was architect of No. 3324 and Frank Sims designed the duplex at No. 3319.
Built in 1950, No. 3309 is similar to the 1940s houses in its symmetrical three-bay facade, here without side porches or wings. A small pedimented porch marks the entry. It, too, is built of concrete block and faced with brick. R. L. Peters bought the land for No. 3309 in 1921 from Harvey C. and Hester Cabell Tabb Brown; he died in 1937, instructing that his property be sold and the profits divided among his children. Nine years later, Myrtis W. Blackburn bought the land; she had the house built in 1950 and owned the property until 1973.
The last houses on the block are an odd amalgam of 1950s-60s architecture. The duplex at No. 3314 has an almost institutional facade, with four identical square windows on each side, separated by the entrance hall and stair. Like the 1940s houses, it is wider than it is deep (48' x 28'), with a low hipped roof and five bays. Decoration on No. 3314 is limited to brick detailing around the windows; the small entry porch is supported by thin metal columns. After the partitioning of the Sheppard estate in 1916, the land for No. 3314 changed hands seven times before Benjamin M. and E. Elizabeth Saslaw bought it in 1952, building the house the next year. The Saslaws sold the property to Morton and Hannah D. Marks "as tenants" in 1956; after Hannah died in 1964, her heirs sold it to Willis H. and Elsie K. Cavedo. Elsie Cavedo kept the house until 1986.
One of the few side-entry houses on Monument, No. 3304, presents a door-less facade to the street, with two matching first-floor windows and a large oriel above. Two steps lead off the sidewalk through brick piers to a path that curves left to the entry on the side. Owner Amy Kay O'Flaherty built No. 3304 in 1959.
With its two-story, two-bay form, No. 3305 is a small house, but one with pretensions. A wide bay window stretching across two-thirds of the first floor and irregular mottled brick work throughout the facade suggests a self-conscious attempt at "design." Most peculiar is a segmental arch above the second-floor window: the cornice breaks to accommodate the keystone, and the wall bubbles up above the roof line in a sort of eyebrow. Owner/builder Harry Stein commissioned S. E. Turner to design the house, which was constructed in 1963.
† Documentation sponsored by the Monument Avenue Centennial Committee, Millie Jones and Ceci Amrhein, co-chairpersons, and Sylvia Summers, director of development. Funding was provided by the Historic Monument Avenue and Fan District Foundation, the City of Richmond, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, the Historic Richmond Foundation, the F. M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., and the Robert G. Cabell III and Maude Morgan Cabell Foundation. Monument Avenue 3300 Block, documentation, Historic American Buildings Survey, memory.loc.gov, accessed October, 2013.