Part of my project research on Clifton revolves around the final recorded inspection of the property that took place in 1903 as demolition was taking place, and were subsequently published in a 1904 edition of American Architect & Building News (page 21 and previous pages). This documentation was conducted by a man by the name of George R. Tolman, who carefully detailed the elaborate ornamentation and complex room designs of the plan. Tolman left us a detailed record of some of Latrobe’s masterful lost designs. But, who was this Tolman? A meager draftsman?
After a basic initial search, we’ve discovered George R. Tolman worked with Marion Dimmock of Richmond for a brief time in the early 1900’s. They worked together on the renovation and wing additions at Westover plantation, as well as a proposal for an expansion and improvements to the capitol building, both in 1902. Tolman was also a noted designer of lighthouses from Virginia Beach to New England. We’ll look for more information on Tolman and hope to make the aquaintance of a seasoned architect who perhaps specialized in the neoclassic style.