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104-0233 Benjamin Tonsler House

Benjamin Tonsler House
Photo credit: Maral Kalbian, 2006

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 10/20/1981

NRHP Listing Date 08/10/1983

NRHP Reference Number 83003274 (No formal nomination)

This ca. 1879 dwelling in the Fifeville and Tonsler Neighborhoods Historic District combines the Italianate, Second Empire, and Gothic Revival architectural styles, all of which were popular during the mid- to late 19th century. The property was owned by Benjamin Tonsler, a very prominent local black citizen, who had acquired the lot in 1876. Tonsler, a graduate of Hampton University and friend of Booker T. Washington, went on to become principal of Jefferson School and is remembered as one of Charlottesville’s leading educators. The Tonsler House is one of the district’s best examples of the additive quality of an early African-American dwelling.

The buildings and districts listed under the Charlottesville Multiple Resource Area nomination represent a cross section of all the city’s historic periods, from the founding of Charlottesville in the 1760s through the advent of the automobile and the impact it had on the city’s expansion. Also included are buildings that have played an important part in the history of Charlottesville’s black community. The Benjamin Tonsler House was individually listed in the registers under the Charlottesville MRA without a formal nomination document.
[Additional Documentation, VLR Listed: 5/29/2008; NRHP Listed: 7/2/2008]

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 18, 2022