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Personal Name Recipient

Allison, James W., 1833-1898


Letter from T. Henry Randall to James W. Allison discussing details of fastenings, tiles, and mouldings.


June 18th ‘95. James W. Allison Esq. Richmond. Va. Dear Sir, Your's of the 15th at hand. We wrote Newman in [next word interlined with caret] regard to the “push-button fastenings” for Library and Hall closets upon receipt of your former letter and presume that he has already written to you on the subject. Perhaps Stowe did not understand that the "push button" itself is to be placed on the frame or stile and not on the door itself. The lock itself can be mortised [next word interlined with caret] into or secured to the back of the door and frame. We did not order any locks (Yale) because they were not in Newman's contract and we thought you had better put them on yourself wherever you liked. He is supplying the "push button fastenings although they are not in his contract. The sketch for the Porch floor shows more space for tiles than our drawings. We hope the marble border is as wide as we have shown it. If it is not, we will not get a good finish under the bases of [cape canceled] columns. We are ordering 250 red tiles (9" x 9") from Alfred Boote for your porch floor and fire places at 15 cents each. Mrs. Allison expressed a desire to have blue and white "Dutch" tiles in the Nursery instead of red tiles as proposed. We have therefore gotten an estimate from Boote for these, which is $5.00 for facings and $7.50 for hearth. They are especially good picture tiles (6"x 6") and would make a pleasing variety. If you are satisfied with them, let us know at once so that they may be shipped without delay. The panel over the front windows would probably be improved by an egg-and-dart moulding covering the joint. The old examples of this kind of work, however, have no such moulding. In regard to the cornice ornament on mantels we are fully satisfied that it had best be made durable by cutting off the "knobs”. No method of protecting them will look as well. Mr. Randall has seen a quantity of suitable wall papers for your house and will bring them on next week if Mrs. Allison will be in Richmond. Your's truly, T. Henry Randall. [ALS, T. Henry Randall to James W. Allison, June 18, 1895, on letterhead: Griffin & Randall Architects [48 Broadway canceled] New York. Envelope docketed [image unavailable]: G & R. June 18. 1895. Directions for putting on the "Push button" fastenings in Library & Hall closets. No Yale locks ordered for these closets and frames Ordering 250 red tiles 9 x 9 for porch floor and fire place at 15 cents ea. Price of Dutch Tiles for nursery fire place is $5.00 for facings and 7.50 for hearth. 6" x 6" Advising to cut off "Knobs" on the top moulding on mantels An egg & dart moulding on panels over front windows would probably be an improvement but old examples of this kind of work have no such moulding.] [edited by KCP]

Personal Name Subject

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

Topical Subject

Architecture, Domestic -- Designs and plans; Architecture, Domestic -- Virginia -- Richmond; Architects and builders; Decoration and ornament, Architectural -- Virginia -- Richmond; Architecture -- Details; Building -- Estimates -- Virginia -- Richmond; Tiles; Moldings; Wallpaper; Hardware

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 June 18, 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 June 18



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