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Personal Name Recipient

Allison, James W., 1833-1898


Letter from Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison discussing the dining room finish.


Dec. 12th '94. James W. Allison Esq. Richmond. Dear Sir, Your's of the 10th at hand. While we have no desire to hasten your decision in the question of the Dining Room finish, we do not think that you can be any better satisfied by seeing Purdy or his work, if he has any to show you, for the simple reason that you will have no better guarantee of your work being satisfactory in the end than his word in either case. On the other hand you do not realize probably the length of time required to select this wood, to dry it, to work it, set and finish it; and we are confident that the house will be ready for it, before the work is finished in any case. The small back door for this room is at present shown like the other doors but smaller. The The "secret door" which Mr. Randall suggested did not look as well as the present arrangement. The style of panelling in the other doors may also be changed to the same both sides, as in the case of the doors between Hall & Drawing Rm, consequently we have written to Stowe & Nuckols on the subject. We have asked them to send us the drawings for the Library as our copies have not been returned, and some full size detail drawings, but as yet they have as usual delayed doing so. In the case of door in the Library closet, Purdy figured on it as well as the other finish & it would be deducted from S.& N. contract. In case they put up the work, they would allow for it in their estimate. The plaster cove or cornice for this room shown on later drawings was substituted for the wooden cornice specified for the room. It would have been cheaper than the latter. In either case it was our intention in making the change to put in a cornice lighter in color and character rather than in a different material. Please have S & N. send the drawings for which we have written them. The tracings of D.R. finish will not be needed. Your's truly, Griffin & Randall. [ALS, Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison, December 12, 1894, on letterhead: Griffin & Randall Architects 52 Broadway. New York.] [edited by APS]

Personal Name Subject

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

Corporate Name Subject

Griffin & Randall -- Correspondence; Stowe & Nuckols; 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; Paneling; Doors; Finishes and finishing

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. Allison, 1894 December 12, 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. Allison, 1894 December 12



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