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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

078-0003 Ben Venue

Ben Venue
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 10/16/1979

NRHP Listing Date 12/28/1979

NPS property number 79003075

Dominating a hilltop with broad views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and anchoring the Ben Venue Rural Historic District, Ben Venue, well known for its row of brick slave houses, is one of the region’s more complete antebellum plantation complexes. The two-story brick house was completed in 1846 for William V. Fletcher and is attributed to James Leake Powers, a local builder. Its parapet gables, corbeled shoulders, and chimneys, oddly placed against the front wall, lend the house architectural distinction. The three brick slave houses, lining a ridge in a field to the south, are among several stylistically related outbuildings related to African American history. Like the main house, the slave houses have parapet gables and corbeled shoulders. Their placement and detailing suggest that they were intended as picturesque features of a scenic view. Slave quarters rarely are found in the Piedmont uplands; no others in the state possess such architectural refinement.


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

Updated February 15, 2019