Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

106-0003 Violet Bank

Violet Bank
Photo credit: Calder Loth, 2022

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/16/1974

NRHP Listing Date 07/30/1974

NRHP Reference Number 74002234

The compact and surprisingly sophisticated dwelling known as Violet Bank is distinguished by its three-part bays, intricate Federal woodwork, and Adamesque plasterwork ceilings. The plasterwork, some of the finest Federal-period plaster ornamentation in the state, is based on designs published in Asher Benjamin’s American Builder’s Companion (1806). Originally the home of Thomas Shore, the present house dates from 1815 and replaces an earlier structure destroyed by fire. The three-part bays relate the house to a series of Richmond town houses inspired by designs of Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Latrobe visited Shore in 1796 and may have influenced the design. Violet Bank was used as a headquarters for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1864, early in the siege of Petersburg, and it was here that Lee learned of the explosion at the Crater. It is now a local history museum owned by the city of Colonial Heights, and is the centerpiece of the listed Violet Bank Historic District.

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

Updated: November 7, 2022