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Personal Name Recipient

Allison, James W., 1833-1898


Letter from Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison discussing work in the dining room and library.


Dec. 3rd ’94. James W. Allison Esq. Richmond. Dear Sir, Your’s of Nov. 27th at hand. Purdy’s contract for your Dining Rm. Finish covers every thing except the blinds and doors, which as you know, are in Stowe & Nuckols contract; consequently, there is no room for “extras” of any description as far as it is possible to see now. In fact nothing but a change in the character or treatment of the work could produce an “extra”; and that only through your approval. I think therefore it would be wise for you to order this work done at once as the material should be carefully prepared and dried for proper length of time before any work on it can be commenced. We shall prepare at once drawings for your Library finish. All the trim should be straight oak (if not “quartered oak” in the room. We might find what the difference would be in using “quartered oak” for the doors and panels in mantel, else where straight oak. We can have Purdy also figure on the work for comparison. We are glad that you are considering the question of putting in the book-cases as suggested on front wall. The cornice will be considered in connection with the changes suggested. The drawings call for a plaster cornice about the wooden cornice of the mantel, the former only being carried around the room. We need to know the positions of registers and air ducts. As soon as it is possible we think it would be wise to put in your heating plant and give the house a thorough drying. Not only the plaster but the brick-work and the wood-work too need to to be well dried out. Your’s truly, Griffin & Randall. P.S. Mahogany and black-walnut furniture will look O.K in an oak room but oak or black walnut will not go into a mahogany room. [ALS, Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison, December 3, 1894, on letterhead: Griffin & Randall Architects 52 Broadway New York.] [edited by VR]

Personal Name Subject

Allison, James W., 1833-1898 -- Correspondence

Corporate Name Subject

Griffin & Randall -- Correspondence; E.H. Purdy M.F.G. Co.

Topical Subject

Architecture, Domestic -- Virginia -- Richmond; Architects and builders; Decoration and ornament, Architectural -- Virginia -- Richmond; Architecture -- Details; Architecture, Domestic -- Designs and plans; Letting of contracts -- Virginia -- Richmond; Building -- Estimates -- Virginia -- Richmond

Geographic Subject

Richmond (Va.) -- Historic houses, etc.; Richmond (Va.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.


Richmond (Va)


letters (correspondence)

Local Genre

text; archives


Still Image; Text

Digital Format





This material is in the public domain in the United States and thus is free of any copyright restriction. Acknowledgement of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested.


Building VCU’s President's House


Original letter: Letter from Griffin & Randall to James W. Griffin, 1894 December 3, James W. Allison papers, M 1, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University.

File Name


Letter from Griffin & Randall to James W. Griffin, 1894 December 3



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