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Personal Name Recipient

Allison, James W., 1833-1898


Letter from Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison discussing bids from various builders.


27 Mch. ‘94 James W. Allison Esqr. Dear Sir: We have received your letter of the 24th and carefully noted your points on the estimates— You say— “unless something can be done with our New York man”— Why should you jump over Stowe & Nuckols whose estimate is $19750.00 and consider Robinson at $22800. Probably you think that because Davis & Jenkins are so much above S. & N., that S. & N. must be bidding under cost, but on the contrary we think not— for Jenkins carpenter estimate alone is out of reason & is $5000.+ more than Robinsons estimate on carpenter work— S. & N., as you know, are more than anxious to build your house, and in all probability are willing to do it on very small profits. Should you deduct the difference between Jenkins & [word canceled] Robinson it brings it down within a few hundred of S. & N. You remember figuring out a probable difference between Robinson & a possible Richmond [next word interlined with a caret] builder & that it came above $3000.00 or about the difference between S. & N. and R. We see no reason why you should fear them for we understand that you think them good builders and it would be a simple matter to get bonds from them to secure you against loss— Stowe seemed to understand the plans so thoroughly and be so well posted that we think he would give the work no end of attention and do everything to make a satisfactory “job.” In their estimate they say “& we think the stone work figure entirely too high and are satisfied that [word illegible] bid can be reduced by $1000.00 We have not heard from them yet about the difference in cost for reducing the brick walls— & whether or not the estimate of $1300., mentioned in our letter of Mch. 24, will deduct anything from their bid. You can readily see how difficult it is to get a building to an exact point or figure— when the builders themselves estimate so far apart— We should advise working on S. & N’s figure as a basis and if you care to make deductions from that, it can readily be done— Jenkin’s estimate for carpenter’s work incl. painting & trimming is $15198. which you see is entirely out— but should not recommend going back to him with a question as to whether or not he could reduce it. Kindly let us know when you collect your different points.— Very sincerely Griffin & Randall Richmond [ALS, Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison, March 27, 1894, on letterhead: Griffin & Randall Architects 48 Exchange Place New York] [edited by MRM]

Personal Name Subject

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

Corporate Name Subject

Griffin & Randall -- Correspondence; Stowe & Nuckols

Topical Subject

Architecture, Domestic -- Virginia -- Richmond; Architects and builders; Architecture -- Details; 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. Allison, 1894 March 27, 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 March 27



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