The Alexander Walker House
Richmond Row House
Year Built: 1855; expanded in 1859
Architect: Unknown; at the time, Southern houses were often designed by their owners.
Style: Greek Revival, with Regency-inspired iron balconies and Italianate cornices
Current Owner: William "Bill" Crosby, senior architect, Virginia's Historic Preservation Office
Webster, a wirehaired fox terrier, sits in the front parlor overlooking East Franklin Street. The Empire sofa and upholstered bench have a relaxed air. "You can't hurt them," Bill says.
Bill Crosby leans against the original iron fence encircling his home, which has an English basement and a raised main floor that helps get air and light into the rooms.
Originally slave quarters, the kitchen was renovated and adjoined to the main house in the 1970s. Bill went in and stripped off the newer finishes to reveal old maple floors and a planked ceiling, which he replaced with an exact replica of the original. He also hid the appliances behind decorative paneling copied from the house's formal rooms.
This window has a low, in-swinging jib door—a type of Neoclassic portal that was used by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello and liberally entrenched in Virginia architecture. After 150 years, the jib door still works.
A shouldered architrave surrounds the doorway and transom, and a substantial cove molding traces the room. The 1810 English Regency dining table is from a North Carolina antiques shop, and the armchairs are from Bill's grandmother.