Homestead House Architecture
in Historic Chatham, Virginia

By Henry Mitchell.
102 Reid Street

102 Reid Street is a basic Homestead House with simple gabled roof.

By the late 1890's, reaction against the greatly-adorned late Victorian styles brought about a resurgence of simpler, more practical forms. They were not an entirely “new” design, but rather an accommodation of Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival traditions to modern building materials and techniques, and popular middle-class usage.

In Chatham, significant clusters of Homestead Houses are are found along the west side of the 100 Block and 200 block of South Main, on Lanier Avenue, and on Hargrave Boulevard. Individual Homestead Houses are found on Whittle Street and Reid Street. All these areas were experiencing development at the turn of the century.

(See also architectural pattern books from the period, containing Homestead House examples.)


42 Lanier Avenue

42 Lanier Avenue is an typical tri-gabled ell form of the Homestead House. There are six tri-gabled Homesteads on Lanier Avenue, and one basic bi-gabled ell Homestead.



204 South Main

204 Main Street Street is a tri-gabled ell Homestead that probably had a larger, more formal porch added a few years after its initial construction. This house has a near-twin two doors north, and two others on the Spring Garden Road about ten miles southeast of Chatham.



16 Hargrave Boulevard

16 Hargrave Boulevard is an unusual Homestead, in that it is a bi-gabled ell instead of a tri-gabled ell: one leg of the ell has a hipped roof.



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