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Personal Name Recipient

Allison, James W., 1833-1898


Letter from T. Henry Randall to James W. Allison discussing details for fireplaces and library finishing.


February 16th '95 James W. Allison Esq. Richmond. Va. Dear Sir, We have authorized Stowe & Nuckols to begin at once the work in your Library upon which they figured. The facings and hearth specified are brick. We suggest that if you do not care to go to the expense of putting in simple stone or marble facings and hearth, that you use a square 9" dark red tile such as are called for in floor of front porch. They make a good finish and cost but 20 cents each. As you need only 29 of them for the facings and hearth, they will cost $5.80. The laying of hearth is in S.& N. contract, so that the laying of the facings would be the only additional cost to consider and that very small. The brick is not quite suitable for a good dark wood mantel, and furthermore the tile will help us out of an awkward place on account of its additional width over the brick. In fact we should strongly recommend your putting in the same tile in fire-places on Second Floor as its color and smooth finish make it much more suitable than the brick for facings & hearths. As Perth Amboy brick hearths are already specified for these rooms the additional cost to you will be the facings which would not be more than $3.00 or $4.00 each. The white wood work looks infinitely better with the large red tile than with the rough buff color of the brick. Let us hear from you on this subject as soon as possible. Purdy is getting on with his work in a most satisfactory way. The wood-work is all out for Dining Rm. except some of the carving; and the grain gives promise of very good results. The Bed Rm; Drawing Rm., and Reception Rm. mantels are finished and all the ornamental work is about done also. Newman has agreed to supply everything as agreed including Yale & Towne locks &c. He will send you three samples of sash [lights canceled] catches. We think it would be best to put no hardware on the windows before the work is entirely finished. Your's truly, T. Henry Randall. [ALS, T. Henry Randall to James W. Allison, February 16,1895, on letterhead: Griffin & Randall [48 Exchange Place canceled; next two words stamped] 52 Broadway New York. Envelope docketed: [image unavailable] G.& R. {Feby 16 " 18 Mar 4} 1895 —Authorized S&N. to begin on library Suggests red 9" tiles for hearths and facings to fireplaces Purdy's woodwork progressing well Newman agrees to supply all hardware according to first bid. Particulars of S.& N.'s and Purdy's bids for finishing library in quartered oak. All of these letters were received March 5th 1895 & answered " 7th 1895.] [edited by CEC]

Personal Name Subject

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

Corporate Name Subject

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; Building -- Estimates -- Virginia -- Richmond; Hearths; Tiles; Woodwork; Fireplaces

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 T. Henry Randall to James W. Allison, 1895 February 16, James W. Allison papers, M 1, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University.

File Name


Letter from T. Henry Randall to James W. Allison, 1895 February 16



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