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Personal Name Recipient

Allison, James W., 1833-1898


Letter from Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison discussing Purdy's estimate of the dining room and work in the library.


Nov. 26th '94. James W. Allison Esq. Richmond. Dear Sir, Your's of the 24th at hand. Purdy has just sent in his estimate for your Dining Rm. finish put up and completed at $1218.00 which is about the figure which Mr. Randall gave you. He assures us that he can get the very best wood and that he will select it for its grain and quality generally. We hope therefore that you will decide at once to do this room, as it is important to get out the material without delay. As to the Library finish we shall await the need estimate from Stowe & Nuckols, as we think it would be better for them to do the work. As to the bookcases, we hope you will not be discouraged about putting them in the wall because of the flues & gas outlets. It will be an easy matter to put in a panel over the former and the latter can be very easily moved. The register can be brought out between the shelves, as we have often had to do. The great advantage to you will be the saving of room as well as the improved appearance of the room generally by omitting the broken line that ordinary book shelves always give. All the trim in this room should be of the same wood. Stained pine never looks well along side of oak. Cypress would be better in that case if you do not care & change the pine trim to oak, as that wood would make a good room if properly stained and treated. The plaster must be carried down to floor on all walls. Where panelling covers it, the final coat can be omitted, also behind sheathing. Mr. Randall spoke of this when he was last in Richmond. He will be in Baltimore Friday and Saturday, and can run down to Richmond Monday, if you care to see him. Considering the progress of the work we did not suppose that this would be necessary. your's truly, Griffin & Randall [ALS. Griffin & Randall to James W. Allison, November 26, 1894, on letterhead: Griffin & Randall Architects [48 Exchange Place canceled; next two words stamped] 52 Broadway New York. Envelope docketed: ? G. & R? Nov. 26. 1894 — Purdy's estimate on Dining Room finish put up and completed is $1218.00 Desire bid on Library finish from Stowe & Nuckols? Can move the gas outlets and panels over the hot air flues. Stained pine not as good as cypress? Plastering must be carried down to floor on all walls— when to be covered by panelling the final coat may be omitted.] [edited by LJP]

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; Finishes and finishing; 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 November 26, 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 November 26



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