One of Virginia’s finest examples of Federal architecture, this splendid town house was completed ca. 1792 for Moses Myers, a New York merchant who settled in Norfolk after the Revolution. Myers, the first Jew to take up permanent residence in Norfolk, held several important mercantile and public offices including president of the Common Council and collector of customs. Along with the Taylor-Whittle House, the Myers House illustrates the sophisticated lifestyle enjoyed in this port city in the early 19th century. Contrasting with its restrained exterior are the rich Adam-style interior decorations including ceilings, mantels, and cornices embellished with intricate composition ornaments. Members of the Myers family occupied the house until the 1930s. The Moses Myers House, along with most of its original furnishings, are now exhibited by the Chrysler Museum.
Additional documentation was submitted to the National Register in 2009. The Moses Myers House is significant as the most intact, and best documented, surviving residence of a Jewish family in the United States from the late 18th and early 19th centuries; in fact the house is the best surviving example of a known Jewish residence in United States of any period before 1800. Originally situated in a very rural setting, the federal style house set a new standard of sophistication for the rapidly expanding City of Norfolk. The selection of a remote location by the prominent Moses Myers family served as a catalyst for the expansion of the city to its north, and by the 19th century, the dwelling was surrounded by urban style residential development. The area continued to grow, and the dwelling is now situated in a densely developed area amongst a mixture of historic and modern buildings. Despite its urban location, the Moses Myers House retains a generously sized fenced yard with a kitchen garden typical of the era in the southeast corner, and a garden appropriate for an elegant late-18th century federal style dwelling installed by the Garden Club of Virginia in two phases in the early 2000s.
[NRHP Accepted: 5/27/2009]
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