Craftsman Architecture
in Historic Chatham, Virginia

By Henry Mitchell.
209 South Main

209 North Main Street

During the first two decades of the 1900's, designer Gustav Stickley published The Craftsman magazine as a means of propagating principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, which was a reaction against Victorian stylistic excesses. The Craftsman emphasis was on harmony with nature, craftsmanship, and “honest” structural design and materials, rather than a merely decorative approach.

Craftsman buildings tended to have a rustic appearance, and often were cottages, bungalows, or vaguely Tudor with visible external timbers. Fieldstone, concrete, stucco, and shingle often appear on the exterior.

Other than a few Craftsman-influenced porches added to earlier structures, Chatham has few Craftsman examples. The most visually representative Craftsman-type house in town is at 209 South Main Street, built by funeral director David Jefferson.

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


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