Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

054-0036 Hawkwood

Photo credit: Elizabeth Lipford/DHR, 2022

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/01/1970

NRHP Listing Date 09/17/1970

NRHP Reference Number 70000809

Until it was gutted by fire in 1982, Hawkwood was the best-remaining example of the Italian Villa style houses designed by New York architect Alexander Jackson Davis. Completed in 1855, the Louisa County house was built for Richard Overton Morris, a wealthy planter who promoted scientific agricultural methods to restore Virginia’s depressed economy. While much of Davis’s architecture was inspired by Greek and Gothic forms, he also was a popularizer of the Italian Villa style fostered in America by his collaborator Andrew Jackson Downing. Downing wrote that with its shading eaves, verandas, and picturesque massing, the villa style was most appropriate for country houses in the South. A hallmark of the style, demonstrated in Hawkwood, is the square tower. Hawkwood’s walls and tower were spared in the fire and were stabilized and re-roofed. Complete restoration of the house, located in the Green Springs Rural Historic District, has since been completed.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: April 15, 2022