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 1760’s 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]
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark
Updated March 30, 2020