Walking The Clifton Site

This evening I met with T. Tyler Potterfield, author of Nonesuch Place: A History of the Richmond Landscape, and Gibson Worsham, Architectural Historian at 3north and author of the blog, “Urban Scale Richmond,” for a tour of the Clifton site.  We began with a brief overview of the Capitol hill and walked over to the neighboring hill — both among many “spurs” of the Shockoe Plateau — Council Chamber hill.  By referencing maps from 1809, 1817 and 1835 along with overlays of Latrobe’s proposed site plan and Sanborn maps of where the built structure actually stood, we were able to approximate the original streets and alley ways  as well as the buildings of interest.  It was pretty exciting!

Click here or below to view a photo album of the tour.  Below that is the where we identified clifton to have stood based on comparing Google maps to an 1876 Beers map with the actual footprint.

The Actual Clifton Site
Google over Micajah Bates, 1835, from Stephenson and McKee’s
Virginia In Maps: Four Centuries of Settlement, Growth, and Development.

6 thoughts on “Walking The Clifton Site

  1. I had a great time walking around Council Chamber Hill with you this evening. I had no idea that it was so intact, at least from a geographical point of view. Good luck luck with the paper.


  2. Have you ever asked Charles about a hasty sketch found on the back of a document at the LVA that might be a conceptual sketch of Clifton? It was more than ten years ago that it was found and brought to his attention, but I’d be shocked if there wasn’t still an oversize index card on this somewhere in the files. The idea it might have been Clifton was a long shot, but it is an interesting sidebar to your research.

    1. Hi Selden,

      Yes, actually Dr. B did have knowledge of the sketch and pointed me to it. I located it and it helped support some pretty significant findings that I’ll deliver about Clifton at the Symposium at VHS next week!


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