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Personal Name Recipient

Allison, James W., 1833-1898


Letter from Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison discussing putty-work and other specifications.


July 30th '94. James W. Allison Esq. Richmond. Va. Dear Sir, Your's of the 28th at hand. We are glad to know that the house is now fairly under-way. The pilaster caps for the outside of the house were ordered some time ago from the Purdy M.f.g. Co. and will be shipped to you this week. What you state in regard to "English Putty" and "Carton-pierre" is quite correct as far as our experience goes. Carton-pierre is used for consoles, caps, bases, friezes &c. for inside work only, while the putty-work on a wooden frame answers perfectly for outside work. The ornamental portions of work on the old Annapolis houses [is canceled; next word interlined with a caret] are putty. Stamped copper has more of the sharp, clear-cut features of wood and "putty" work, and is never used when it can be avoided. Galvanized iron is not much worse in that respect. We have been gradually finishing up and copying the F.S. Details for Stowe & Nuckols and will send them a number of drawings that have just been copied. Even these, in a few instances, will be subject to revision, as we must cut down in some places in order to get what we want in others where enough allowance was not made. Mr. Randall will probably be in Richmond about the end of this week or the beginning of next and we can then arrange all the matters finally with the contractors. We regret very much that the brick-work does not please you. We hope at the same time that the general effect at least will be satisfactory. Your's truly Griffin & Randall. [ALS, Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison, July 30, 1894, on letterhead: Griffin & Randall Architects 48 Exchange Place New York] [edited by WDC]

Personal Name Subject

Allison, James W., 1833-1898 -- Correspondence; Randall, T. Henry, 1869-1905 -- Travel -- Virginia -- Richmond

Corporate Name Subject

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

Topical Subject

Architecture, Domestic -- Designs and plans; Architecture, Domestic -- Virginia -- Richmond; Architects and builders; Architecture -- Details; Putty; Brickwork; Decoration and ornament, Architectural -- 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 July 30, 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 July 30



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