Tobacco and Trolleys: Industry and Transportation
Antebellum Architecture
Richmond's African American Heritage
The Continuing legacy of Historic Preservation
Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
Linden Row

Linden Inn

Linden Row Inn
City of Richmond
Department of Community Development

The eight attached Greek Revival row houses of Linden Row are reputed to be the last survivors of a series of rows built on Franklin Street between c. 1840 and c. 1860. They are distinguished examples of their style and housed some of Richmond’s most prominent citizens and influential families. In 1839, James Fleming bought the site on which they sit. In 1847, he built a row of five houses he called “Linden Square” after the linden trees planted in Charles Ellis’ garden. Ellis and his business partner John Allan had previously owned the property on which they created a beautiful garden. Allan and his wife were the adoptive parents of Edgar Poe, who during his childhood played in the garden with the Allan children. The author later referred to the property as Ellison, and local legend has it that this was the "enchanted garden" that Edgar Allan Poe mentions in his famous poem "To Helen."

Samuel and Alexander Rutherford built five additional houses to complete the remainder of the row, after they purchased the western end of the block in 1853. Just before and during the Civil War (1861-65), D. Lee Powell's school, the Southern Female Institute, occupied the two most western houses. Virginia Pegram, widow of General James Pegram the famous Mexican war hero, ran another noted girls school, Mrs. Pegram's school, on the row from 1856 to1866. For many years before and after the war, Linden Row was the home of some of Richmond’s most prominent citizens: Dr. William H. Scott, a well-known druggist; Major Robert Stiles, a distinguished jurist and former officer on the staff of Robert E. Lee; Mary Johnston, noted novelist; and the Mayo, Montague, and Tompkins families. From 1895 to 1906, the highly respected school of Miss Virginia Randolph Ellet, now known as St. Catherine's School, was on the row. Among its early pupils were Irene Langhorne Gibson (“The Gibson Girl”) and Lady Astor, the first female member of the British Parliament.

Linden Row

Linden Row
City of Richmond
Department of Community Development

Collectively, Linden Row is one of Richmond’s finest examples of Greek Revival architecture and a superb Greek Revival row. Each of the houses is three stories high with a basement. They have thin-jointed red brick exteriors, matching Doric entrance porticos, granite window lintels, and a simple wood cornice that runs the entire length of the attached façades. In 1922, the two easternmost houses were demolished to make room for the Medical Arts office building, as the city’s central business district grew westward. The remaining houses on the row were rezoned for business use sometime before 1950, and their interiors were reconfigured to be used for offices and apartments.

Around 1950, noted Richmond preservationist Mary Wingfield Scott began buying up the remaining buildings of Linden Row to ensure their future preservation. In 1971, Linden Row was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1980, Ms. Scott donated the row to Historic Richmond Foundation, which to this day holds easements that are intended to protect and maintain the architectural integrity of the buildings.

Plan your visit
Linden Row is located at 100-114 E. Franklin St. and is now an inn with accommodations and facilities for gatherings.  Free tours of the rooms are available on request.  For information on accommodations, arranging for an event or gathering, or seeing the inn, call 804-783-7000 or visit the Linden Row Inn website.  Linden Row has been documented by the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey.
previous page Next page