Virginia State SealDHR logo


Early History of the House.

The house was purchased in 1899 by Mrs. S. Dabney Crenshaw. Situated on a narrow urban lot among other townhouses, its elaborate detailing gives an indication of the Crenshaw's wealth and social class. (It was from that same class that the women primarily came who formed the Equal Suffrage League).
Soon after purchasing the house, the Crenshaws in 1904 had the architectural firm of Noland and Baskervill alter its original Victorian Italianate style. Much of today's extant exterior dates from that renovation, including touches such as the copper Doric entablature and cresting on the roof, a full height, three-sided bay window, and a porch supported by paired Doric columns. The first-floor interior (bottom photo) features a spacious entry hall dominated by beautiful woodwork and a fireplace with a decorative wooden mantel, columns, and handsome tile work. A smoking room, added to the house in 1904, is lit by a stunning leaded skylight with a stained glass crest ceiling, one of two windows that illuminates the space. The Crenshaws lived in the house until 1941, when it was sold and converted to apartments. By 1969, VCU owned it. Today the school houses university offices in the building.