John Vowles House

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The three-bay John Vowles House on West Main Street in the city of Charlottesville is presumed to be the handiwork of James Dinsmore, a Scotch-Irish master builder who with John Neilson was brought by Thomas Jefferson from Philadelphia to work on Monticello and later the University of Virginia. Along with Jefferson’s and other commissions, Dinsmore speculated in Charlottesville real estate. In 1818 he purchased lots on Main Street and apparently built this town house following his sale of the lot to John Vowles, a painter and glazer who had also worked at the university. Although lacking the monumental classicism of Jefferson’s designs, the house has the fine brickwork, sophisticated proportions, and academic moldings associated with buildings by Jefferson workmen. A nearly identical town house was attached to the Vowles House about 1830. Both buildings have served a variety of uses in their long history.

Last Updated: January 18, 2024

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

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