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
Taylor-Mayo House

Taylor-Mayo House

Taylor-Mayo House
City of Richmond
Department of Community Development


Built in 1845 by Samuel Taylor for his son William F. Taylor, the Taylor-Mayo House, now known as the Mayo Memorial Church House, is the only surviving private residence in Richmond in the form of a Greek temple. The building stands at the northeast corner of Franklin and Jefferson Streets set back from a shallow front yard surrounded by a decorative cast iron fence. The two-story brick mansion is covered in stucco and has a five-bay façade dominated by a portico with a pediment and massive Ionic columns.

In 1872, Peter H. Mayo, one of Richmond’s wealthiest citizens, bought the house. He was the owner of P.H. Mayo & Bros., who introduced cigarette manufacturing to Richmond. Having built the family tobacco fortune back up following the destruction of the Civil War, Mayo was in a position to purchase and leave his mark on what was already a fine building. He raised the original one-story flanking wings to two stories, altered the windows, and put a long addition on the west side of the house. The house retained the original design of the façade with its two-story Ionic portico.

Mayo spent enormous sums renovating the interior of the house to incorporate lavish materials such as the polished mahogany with which he finished the parlors, dining rooms, and a library. He also added chambers of olive, walnut, and bird’s eye maple; and inlaid flooring of various hardwoods on the main floor. An elaborate stairway, lit from above by a leaded-glass skylight, features a curved handrail and a fanciful newel post depicting a griffin in carved oak.

After many years of association with the Mayo family, Mr. Mayo’s daughters, Mrs. Benehan Cameron and Mrs. Thomas N. Carter, gave the house to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The building now contains the offices of the bishop and staff of the diocese, which uses it for various church functions. The house still has many of its significant features preserved even after construction of a new addition.

Plan your visit
The Taylor-Mayo House is located at 110 W. Franklin St. and is used by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. For information about visiting the house, call 804-643-8451.
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