The History and Architecture: Washington Elms of Saratoga, New York, built this manor house on his 25-acre dairy farm in 1871. This lovely High-Style Italianate – exemplified by paired glass entry doors, elaborate cornices with large eave brackets, 2-over-2 windows with arched crowns -- was a prevalent design in Upstate New York but rare in Central Virginia. Its signature belvedere sat atop the handsome three levels of two rooms and a side passageway on each floor. At the turn of the century, a new owner, Columbus Washington Jones, prominent merchant and community leader, bought the property and enlarged the house with a three-level addition and rear additions as well. This “celebration of light” of 49 windows throughout the residence and the addition of the biggest front porch in town made this a showplace for the Jones family. Upon Mr. Jones’ death in 1933, the property was divided into housing lots for the growing city of Fredericksburg. The urban half-acre garden on which the house stands today was established at that time.
During the 20th century, the residence had many uses – boarding house for nurses, private home, and four-unit apartment building. The present owners have restored “Elmhurst” to the single-family home as it was built. “Elmhurst” is now a National Register property and on the list of Virginia Landmarks. Extensive research information is available.
The Location: Fredericksburg is a small city of approximately 28,000 residents that was founded in 1727 along the Rappahannock River. It is about 50 miles from Washington, DC, and Richmond, Virginia, and international airports. “Elmhurst” is conveniently located to the Amtrak and VRE commuter rail service, the Downtown shopping district, Civil War battlefields, Mary Washington Hospital and the University of Mary Washington. Shopping and entertainment amenities at “Central Park” and Interstate 95 are just minutes away.
The Residence: This brick, gracious building has flexible space on all three levels. The main paired doors open to a grand foyer that is perfect for entertaining as well as other uses such as an art gallery and library. To the right is a first-floor bedroom presently used as a family room and office with bay windows and exterior entrance. A walk-in closet and Italian-style bathroom complement this room so that it could be an office or suite. To the left is a living room, a dining room with bay windows, and an Italianate-style kitchen complete with exposed brick, exposed beams, open shelving, beautifully tiled counters and floor (with radiant heating) and copper range hood.
Upstairs, there are three bedrooms and three baths. One bedroom with bay windows has views of the surrounding area; one houses the glass-enclosed opening to the belvedere that provides heavenly light.
The lower level contains a rustic office as well as a utility/storage room. This is an entrance to the outdoor room and storage areas under the front porch. The bulk of the lower level could be extensive family living space or a self-contained suite that has a separate entrance to living room, kitchen/dining room area, and bedroom and bath and laundry area.
Altogether, there are approximately 4,700 square feet of living space – three types of hardwood floors, vertical six-panel doors, 10-foot ceilings, exquisite woodwork, five decorative fireplace mantles, 10-foot ceilings on the two main levels, and 49 windows. In 2006, a rehabilitation of the property was undertaken to maintain the original proportions of the residence while adding seamless and luxurious modernizations. There is new natural- gas, two-zone radiator heating, some radiant heating, dual-zone central air-conditioning, new roof, all-new electricity, all-new plumbing and buried utilities, five individually-designed baths, two kitchens – every floor, every wall, every light fixture has been reconditioned or replaced appropriately. This exceptional property is in move-in condition. Floor plans are available.
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