Architect: Noland and Baskervill
Address: 909 West Franklin St
The Scott House (formerly the Scott-Bocock House) is a truly Richmond structure, its decades of history almost as impressive as the grand neoclassical façade. Elizabeth and Frederic Scott bought the property from Lewis Ginter in 1903, and soon thereafter commissioned the popular firm of Noland and Baskervill to design the magnificent estate. The couple is buried at Hollywood Cemetery and their daughter, Elisabeth Scott Bocock, moved into the house in the mid 20th century. While there, she founded the Historic Richmond Foundation, the 2300 Club, and the Hand Workshop (now known as the Visual Arts Center of Richmond). In the 1960s, the house was subdivided and used as dorms for VCU students, which continued into the 90s. A renovation in 2004 led to the Scott House opening its doors to the public, and the designation of the building as a Virginia Historic Landmark.
The historic Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island was chosen as inspiration for the Richmond structure, which was itself modeled after the Petit Trianon in Versailles. It stands proudly removed from West Franklin, an exception to the block’s density. The stately house, a handsome combination of limestone and terra cotta, is grounded by green-tiled wrapping terraces and a porte-cochére, shaded by trees in the house’s garden. Oxidized copper and careful cast iron work beautifully balance the gravity of the building’s exterior. Oversized fluted columns with Corinthian capitals give the mansion a sense of monumentality.
The interior is a classic example of the American Renaissance style, originating in the 18th century. The occupant moves through the public, symmetrically divided rooms with no hallways on the first floor, structured around a main entrance stair which lies under a magnificent stained glass dome. Servants’ quarters are to the rear of the building, and a large English style carriage house is hidden behind the mansion. The Anderson Gallery, constructed in 1888 from the former Ginter House stables, also stands behind the Scott-Bocock House. The splendor of the structure is a reminder of Richmond’s insurance-and-banking glory days in the early 20th century, when it was an indulgent capital of the South.