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Baskervill & Son (Richmond, Va.)

A Guide to the Baskervill & Son Records, 1894-1951
Call Number Mss3 B2922 a FA2


Administrative Information

Access:  Collection is open to all researchers.

Use Restrictions:  These records are the exclusive property of the firm of Baskervill & Son, P.C. The documents may not be reproduced in any manner or used for commercial, business, personal profit or monetary gain without the expressed written consent of Baskervill & Son, P.C.  Researchers are required to sign a release form indicating that they understand and accept these restrictions.

Preferred Citation:  Baskervill & Son Records, 1894-1950 (Mss3 B2922 a FA2), Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.

Acquisition Information:  Deposited by Baskervill & Son, P.C., Richmond, Va., in 1996. Accessioned 18 October 2006.

Descriptive Summary

Collection Number: Mss3 B2922 a FA2
Collection Name: Baskervill & Son Records, 1894-1951.
Size: 100 boxes (71 oversized boxes of drawings; 29 record center boxes specifications).
Language: English
Abstract: Included in this collection are architectural drawings (plans, elevations, and details) and specifications for commercial and residential projects undertaken by the firm of Baskervill & Son in the Richmond, Va., area, and beyond.

 

Scope and Content Information

 

Baskervill and Son has maintained a consistent history as one of the most successful Richmond, Va., architectural firms since its establishment in 1897. The firm, then called Noland and Baskervill, was the partnership of architect William Churchill Noland (1865-1951) and electrical engineer Henry Baskervill (1867-1930). The firm began to develop its reputation in the Richmond area by taking on several prominent residential projects such as Baskervill's own residence (1913) in addition to several homes on Monument Avenue. In 1903, even though the firm was not yet six years old, it received the prestigious commission to design an addition for Thomas Jefferson's Virginia State Capitol Building. As this project implies, even as a young firm, Noland and Baskervill had developed a substantial reputation among Richmond’s elite.

The Noland and Baskervill partnership dissolved in 1918 with Noland’s retirement; Henry Baskervill quickly joined with Alfred G. Lambert to form a new partnership, Baskervill & Lambert. In 1932, Henry Baskervill’s son H. Coleman Baskerville (1905-1969) joined the firm, and the name changed again, to Baskervill & Son. When he succeeded to the directorship of the company, H. Coleman Baskerville changed the spelling of his surname, and that of his company, to “Baskerville.” With H. Coleman Baskerville’s death, the “e” was dropped and the original spelling retained.

In the early years of the firm, commissions trickled in. Between 1894 and 1900 there are only 14 projects. These included three churches, four commercial buildings, two hospitals and two residences. However, in the first decade of the Twentieth century, the firm undertook at least 80 projects, and with the exception of the years during World War I and World War II, this rate increased exponentially.

Early on, the firm began working with the Medical College of Virginia Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital in Richmond, Va., and later with both Central and Eastern State psychiatric hospitals, in Petersburg and Williamsburg, respectively. Eventually, the Blue Ridge Sanatorium (Charlottesville), Crippled Childrens Hospital (Richmond), Danville (Va.) Memorial Hospital, Grace Hospital (Richmond), Louise Obici Memorial Hospital (Suffolk), Petersburg (Va.) General Hospital, Retreat Hospital (Richmond), Richmond Memorial Hospital, Sheltering Arms Hospital (Richmond), Southside Community Hospital (Farmville), University of Virginia Hospital (Charlottesville), and the Virginia Home for Incurables (Richmond) appeared on the firm’s client list.

A number of well-known educational institutions turned to Baskervill & Son for assistance in upgrading existing buildings or designing new ones. In addition to the Medical College of Virginia, mentioned above, the firm worked with Episcopal High School (Alexandria), the Foxcroft School (Middleburg), Mary Baldwin College (Staunton), St. Christopher’s School (Richmond), Union Theological Seminary (Richmond), and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, designing everything from steam tunnels to dormitories and classroom buildings.

The firm designed a wide range of commercial facilities, from small family-run stores (such as the Andrew J. Briggs residence and drugstore on Grove Avenue, Richmond) to office buildings, factories and warehouses for the likes of Philip Morris, Inc., and the Richmond News Leader Co., as well as a number of local and national banks.

Also prominently represented are a large number of Richmond churches, including Grace and Holy Trinity, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, St. James Episcopal, St. John’s Methodist, St. Paul’s Episcopal, and Second Baptist.

There are a relatively small number of “cultural” projects, primarily libraries, including the State Library and Archives on Capitol Square; several social clubs, including the Commonwealth Club, Westmoreland Club, and Country Club of Virginia; and a few museums, such as the Confederate Memorial Institute, the Edgar Allen Poe Museum, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

While the firm did a substantial amount of work for commercial, cultural, educational, medical and religious organizations and institutions, the bulk of its projects during the period covered by these records were residential. Major private residences which the firm either designed or added-to included “Maymont,” in Richmond, Va., and “Swannanoa,”on Afton Mountain, Va., both commissioned by Maj. James H. Dooley. The firm also designed homes for Mrs. John Stewart Bryan (“Montebello”), Joseph Bryan (“Eagle Point”), E. M. Crutchfield (“Reveille”), Granville Gray (“Rothesay”), Lewis G. Larus (“Stony Point”), Legh R. Page (“Pagebrook”), Malvern C. Patterson (“Hillcrest”), Virgil P. Randolph (“Estouteville”), William T. Reed, Jr. (“Sabot Hill”), Frederic W. Scott (“Royal Orchard”), George Cole Scott (“Ballyshannon”), Elijah B. White (“Selma”), and Edward J. Willis (“Pembroke”), as well as a number of other prominent Richmonders, and created model homes for Windsor Farms, Inc., and Hillcrest, Inc., two Richmond realty corporations. Many of these homes were located in the Fan, Ginter Park, West End, Westhampton, and Windsor Farms neighborhoods of Richmond.

This collection is made up of two series. Series One contains architectural plans for projects dating from 1894-1950. These range from one to many sheets, and typically include elevations and floor plans, but sometimes also extend to structural plans, interior details for cornices and staircases, and occasionally even garden plans. Series Two contains specifications, contracts and scattered photographs relating to these projects, plus correspondence and other materials on two design competitions in which Baskervill participated, including the Jefferson Davis monument (Proj. 1907-25) on Monument Avenue, Richmond, and the Federal Reserve Bank Building (Proj. 1917-12), East Byrd Street, Richmond.

This guide includes a list of projects by number and includes as much information as is currently known about the client, type of project, and location. Since the project number is based on the year undertaken and the project’s order within that year, this list serves as a chronological record of Baskervill & Son’s work. The appendices include a list of projects arranged alphabetically by client as well as a list of projects with Richmond addresses (when known).

The collection is not a comprehensive guide to the Baskervill firm's work, as not all of the firm's commissions for the time period are included.

Biographical/Historical Information

Henry Eugene Baskervill (1867-1946) was the son of Henry Embra Coleman Baskervill and his second wife, Eugenia Jackson (Buffington) Baskervill. He married Ethel Penn-Gaskell Marsh and had with her one child, son Henry Coleman Baskervill (1905-1969).

Henry Eugene Baskervill attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., and in 1889 graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Returning to Richmond, he worked as assistant to the city engineer, Wilford Emory Cutshaw, before forming a partnership with architect William Churchill Noland (1865-1951). The firm of Noland and Baskervill benefitted from the good family and social connections of its partners, as well as the existence of little local competition. Before the firm disbanded in 1918, following the retirement of William C. Noland, they had executed commissions ranging from the 1904 renovation and expansion of the Virginia state capitol building to the design of luxurious vacation homes for well-to-do Richmonders James H. Dooley and Frederick William Scott.

Baskervill next joined with Alfred Garey Lambert to form the partnership of Baskervill & Lambert. This partnership lasted until 1932, when Henry Eugene Baskervill’s son H. Coleman Baskervill joined the firm and the name changed to Baskervill and Son. At this point the firm shifted in focus to more commercial projects, such as Retreat Hospital, the Richmond News Leader Building, and the Medical College of Virginia campus. Following a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, H. Coleman Baskervill returned to head of the firm following his father’s retirement in 1946. It was during his tenure that he changed the spelling of both his surname and the firm’s name to add a terminal “e.” When H. Coleman Baskerville died the firm’s name was changed back to its original spelling.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into two series arranged chronologically by project number. Series One contains architectural plans for projects dating from 1894 through 1950. Series Two contains specifications for projects dating from 1897 through 1951.

See the Contents List for Series One for a list of all project drawings represented in this collection. See Appendix A for a list of project drawings sorted by client name. See Appendix B for a list of project drawings with Richmond, Va., street addresses.

Index Terms

Baskervill, Henry Eugene, 1867-1946.
Baskerville, Henry Coleman, 1905-1969.
Briggs, Andrew G.
Bryan, Anne Eliza Tennant, 1875?-1953.
Bryan, Joseph, 1845-1908 -- Homes and haunts.
Crutchfield, Edgar Mantlebert.
Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889 – Monuments.
Dooley, James H. (James Henry), 1841-1922 -- Homes and haunts.
Gray, Granville.
Lambert, Alfred G.
Larus, Lewis Griffin, b. 1887.
Noland, William C. (William Churchill), 1865-1951.
Page, Legh Richmond, 1867-1944.
Patterson, Malvern Courtney, 1862-1933.
Randolph, Virgil Patrick, 1905-1970.
Reed, William Thomas, 1903-1966.
Scott, Frederic William, 1862-1939.
Scott, George Cole, 1875-1932.
White, Elijab B., b. 1864.
Willis, Edward Jones, 1866-1941.
Ballyshannon (Henrico County, Va.)
Baskervill & Lambert (Richmond, Va.)
Baskervill & Son (Richmond, Va.)
Blue Ridge Sanatorium
Central State Hospital (Va.)
Commonwealth Club (Richmond, Va.)
Confederate Memorial Institute (Richmond, Va.)
Country Club of Virginia (Richmond, Va.)
Crippled Children's Hospital (Richmond, Va.)
Eagle Point (Gloucester County, Va.)
Eastern State Hospital (Va.)
Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Va.)
Episcopal High School (Alexandria, Va.)
Estouteville (Albemarle County, Va. : Dwelling)
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Foxcroft School (Loudoun County, Va.)
Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (Richmond, Va.)
Grace Hospital (Richmond, Va.)
Hillcrest (Henrico County, Va.)
Hillcrest, Inc.
Jefferson Davis Monument (Richmond, Va.)
Louise Obici Memorial Hospital (Suffolk, Va.)
Mary Baldwin College.
Maymont (Richmond, Va. : Dwelling)
Medical College of Virginia -- Buildings.
Memorial Hospital (Danville, Va.)
Montebello (Orange County, Va.)
Noland and Baskervill (Richmond, Va.)
Pagebrook (Richmond, Va.)
Pembroke (Henrico County, Va.)
Petersburg General Hospital (Va.)
Philip Morris Incorporated.
Retreat Hospital (Richmond, Va.)
Reveille (Richmond, Va.)
Richmond Memorial Hospital (Richmond, Va.)
Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
Rothesay (Richmond, Va.)
Royal Orchard (Afton, Va.)
Sabot Hill (Goochland County, Va.)
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (Richmond, Va.)
St. Christopher's School (Richmond, Va.)
St. John's Methodist Church (Richmond, Va.)
St. Luke's Hospital (Richmond, Va.)
St. Paul's Church (Richmond, Va.)
Second Baptist Church (Richmond, Va.)
Selma (Loudoun County, Va.)
Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Hospital (Richmond, Va.)
Southside Community Hospital (Farmville, Va.)
Stony Point (Chesterfield County, Va.)
Swannanoa (Nelson County, Va.)
Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.
University of Virginia – Buildings
University of Virginia Hospital.
Virginia Home for Incurables (Richmond, Va.)
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Westmoreland Club (Richmond, Va.)
Windsor Farms, Inc.
Architects -- Virginia -- Richmond -- History -- 20th century.
Architecture, Domestic -- Virginia -- History – 20th century.
Church architecture -- Virginia – Richmond.
Church buildings -- Virginia -- Richmond -- History -- 20th century.
Commercial buildings – Design and construction.
Hospital architecture – Virginia -- History -- 20th century.
Hospitals – Virginia -- Richmond -- History -- 20th century.
Richmond (Va.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Richmond (Va.) -- Neighborhoods.

Contents List

Series 1. Architectural Drawings and Plans, 1894-1950 (Master Project List)

Series 2. Specifications, 1897-1951

Appendix A: Baskervill & Son Projects Listed by Client

Appendix B: Baskervill & Son Projects in Richmond, by Address


Processed by Alison Snow, August 2005
© 2006 By the Virginia Historical Society. All rights reserved.
Last updated: February 29, 2008