Tobacco and Trolleys: Industry and Transportation
Antebellum Architecture
Richmond's African American Heritage
The Continuing legacy of Historic Preservation
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Kent-Valentine House

Kent-Valentine House

Kent-Valentine House
Virginia Department of Historic Resources


Richmond merchant Horace L. Kent commissioned Boston architect Isaiah Rogers to design this Franklin Street mansion in 1844. Most of Rogers’ works, including several important hotels, have been destroyed. The Kent-Valentine House is one of his few surviving residential designs. The building was originally a three-bay Italianate-style dwelling skirted by an intricate cast-iron veranda. In 1904, Granville G. Valentine, owner of a meat-extract company, engaged the Richmond architectural firm of Noland and Baskervill to expand the house into a five-bay composition, extending the veranda. The veranda was replaced by the present Ionic portico around 1909. The final result is a successful amalgamation of antebellum and early 20th-century styles. The original Italianate bracketed cornice was extended across the addition to unify the composition. Portions of the cast-iron veranda were reused for the portico railing.

Surviving on the interior are Rogers’ exceptional Gothic Revival double parlors, some of the best examples of Gothic-style rooms in the state. These have been handsomely restored with prior color schemes and furnishings. The parlors provide an interesting contrast to Noland and Baskervill’s Georgian Revival stair hall and drawing room. The latter is embellished with Corinthian pilasters.

The property was placed under preservation easement donated to the state by the Valentine family in the early 1970s. It was subsequently sold to the Garden Club of Virginia which uses it as its state headquarters and makes it available for special functions.  

Plan your visit
The Kent-Valentine House is located at 12 East Franklin St., adjacent to Linden Row. The interior can be visited by contacting the Garden Club of Virginia at 804-643-4137.  The Kent-Valentine House has been documented by the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey.
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