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
Putney Houses

Putney Houses

Putney Houses
City of Richmond
Department of Community Development


Built in 1859 for Samuel Ayres, the Putney Houses at 1010 and 1012 East Marshall Street are fine examples of antebellum Italianate town houses. They are particularly noteworthy for their ornamental ironwork, which the Phoenix Iron Works produced locally. From 1862 until 1894, Samuel and Stephen Putney owned and lived in the two town houses. Both father and son were in the shoe manufacturing business. Samuel Putney’s house at 1010 is a three-story Italianate row house with a stucco façade scored to look like stone. The exterior features rich architectural decoration, including a paneled frieze below the bracketed cornice and windows topped with heavy semi-circular lintels. A cast iron one-story porch across the front is one of the building’s most delicate but distinguishing features. Stephen Putney’s home at 1012, while not as ornate as the father’s house, is nonetheless a fine example of antebellum residential architecture in Richmond. A richly carved entablature over the front door graces the otherwise simple façade, but the east side of the building features a magnificent two-story cast iron veranda that is unique in Richmond, and an outstanding example of its type.

The Putney Houses are located in the once-fashionable Court End area, which housed many of Richmond’s early elite. Although the streets once had elegant residences like these, the neighborhood has changed with the growth of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College of Virginia campus in the area. Along with the Valentine Museum behind them, these houses help give a sense of the historic quality and domestic scale to this important block. Today, the Samuel Putney house is home to various administrative offices for the health sciences and external affairs divisions of the medical campus. The Stephen Putney house contains administrative offices for the vice president for health sciences and the Medical College of Virginia Foundation.

Plan your visit
The Putney Houses are located at 1010 and 1012 E. Marshall St.  They generally are not open to the public.  1010 E. Marshall St. has been documented by the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey.
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