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Click The Bragg House Link for Pictures Taken During the Tour


Centre Hill Mansion
1 Centre Hill Ave.

1854-55 Lyon Wareshouse
22 N. Sycamore St.

Folly Castle
323 W Washington St.

Petersburg, VA Tours | Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | 10:00a - 5:00p
Tour of Homes & Gardens


Marie Bowan Gardens
Fairfas St./Arch St./Arch Cr.


Thomas Wallace House
204 S. Market St.

The Bragg House
319 High St.

1808 Federal Home
244 High St.

Petersburg, VA
Home & Garden Tour

Click Photo To Open Your Digital Copy
2017 Garden Club of Virginia
Historic Garden Week Magazine

This driving tour features homes with several different architectural styles so abundant in Petersburg. Our eclectic tour features properties from within our Historical Districts and three which have connections with the filming of the PBS series Mercy Street: The grand Federal-style home, Centre Hill; the property where we will feature a hand-built furniture workshop in the Colonial style; and the home of the hat makers for the series. In addition, this home has an important Civil War connection. The tour also includes a 1763 Georgian built for the founder of Petersburg, and an 1823 Greek Revival, a former designer home whose garden features mostly native plants. Finally, an artist’s retreat and courtyard that have been created out of combining three commercial buildings will be presented.

Centre Hill Mansion
1 Centre Hill Ave

Centre Hill Mansion has been called “a symbol of grandeur that characterized the aristocracy of Virginia in the 19th century.”  Completed in 1823 by Robert Bolling IV in the Federal style, twenty years later it was updated to incorporate elaborate Greek Revival decorative elements. In 1901, Colonial Revival-style architectural elements were added to the interior, which is furnished with decorative arts from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries—some of which are original to the house. Two U.S. presidents, Abraham Lincoln and William H. Taft, visited the home. The mansion has been the site of modern-day films including Killing Lincoln, The Abolitionist, Ithaca, and the AMC spy series, Turn.  Most recently, it has been the major site of filming of the PBS series Mercy Street. It is a restoration project of the Garden Club of Virginia, which began restoration of the gardens in 1980. In 2012, the Petersburg Garden Club further updated the landscape, planting numerous appropriate species including hypericum, plum yew, blackhaw viburnum, tulip poplar, Otto Luyken laurels and weigela. The City of Petersburg restored the shutters. The Petersburg Garden Club funded the lighting for the south portico and visitor’s entrance, and recently, the restoration of the original door surrounds and leaded glass windows at both the front and back entrances.
City of Petersburg, owner.

22 North Sycamore Street

22 North Sycamore Street is the southern half of a double building erected by John and Mary Margaret Lyon in 1854-55 as merchant warehousing space. Early occupants included T. R.  Moore Hats, the Petersburg Dry Goods Company and E. H. Titmus Jewelers and Opticians. The building was purchased from the city of Petersburg in 2002. Renovations began the next year. The building was completely stripped to its original exterior brick walls, and major structural damage was repaired. All the interior walls and doorways visible today are new. To retain the character of the building, original floors were restored along with period doors, substantial baseboards and picture hanging rails. The owners’ home occupies the upper two floors of the original building and is filled with antiques, classic modern furniture and art—both contemporary and 18th- and 19th century. A large studio occupies the majority of the third floor. Aimee Joyaux, a well-known artist and educator, has a printmaking studio at the rear of the first floor. The building abutting the alley is her workshop. A private courtyard, created with new plantings, is where the owners themselves are building an outdoor pizza oven.
Aimee and Alain Joyaux, owners.

Folly Castle
323 West Washington Street

Built in 1763, Folly Castle was the town home for Peter Jones, a descendant of Petersburg’s namesake. At the time of its construction the property encompassed 11 acres and the house faced the Appomattox River. In 1855, the owners had the house disassembled and turned so it faced Washington Street. At that time, the Georgian-style front porch was also added. Since that time the property has shrunk to a little more than half of an acre and has been a residence, boarding house, tearoom, and B&B. The house stood empty for five years before the current owners purchased it and began the process of restoring this important piece of Petersburg history. Many of the original features of the house have disappeared over the years; the heart-pine floors, front-hall paneling and plaster walls remain. The owners have used National Trust colors throughout, reworked all the windows, had the exterior siding custom milled and have had all the corbel brackets and plaster capitals remade. The ever flickering gas lanterns flanking the front door are from New Orleans and give the home a warm and welcoming glow. The garden at the rear of the house is landscaped with azaleas, camellias, boxwood, roses and hydrangeas. Brick walkways have been added and the kitchen dependency is now an apartment. This property was last opened for Historic Garden Week in 1994.
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Riggs, owners

Thomas Wallace House
204 South Market Street

On April 3, 1865, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln met on the front porch of this historic South Market Street home to discuss the end of the Civil War. Today the house is a residence as well as a thriving millenary business, Ignatius Hats. This Italianate- style house had stood empty for 25 years before it was purchased by the present owners in 2003. Great care has been taken in the restoration of the open-work crown molding, plaster ceiling medallions and the tin ceiling in the front hall. The owners have amassed an interesting and varied collection of folk art, “outside” art, artifacts from beneath the house and taxidermy specimens. Many of the paintings exhibited throughout the house were done by one of the owners. Ignatius Hats is housed in the large multi-roomed basement. Of note are the hundreds of antique wooden hat blocks and the antique straw machine. Ignatius Hats produced all the hats for the principals in the PBS series, Mercy Street. The landscape of the house still retains some of its historic features including an early-20th century, cast-iron fence and mature trees dating from the early 19th century. Of particular note are the two large Southern magnolias that flank the front walkway and the Leyland cypress hedge along the south side of the property.
J. Ignatius Creegan and Rod Givens, owners

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The Bragg House
319 High Street

The house known as Bragg House, built c.1823, was purchased by William Bragg and then remodeled from a Federal-style into a Greek Revival-style home. It remained in the Bragg family for 110 years and was purchased by the current owners in 2015. They wanted to preserve the history of the home by furnishing the parlor, dining room and the guest bedroom with period furniture that was inherited or purchased locally. The furnishings include several German and French pieces, a 300-year-old grandfather clock in the foyer, and a kickback sideboard in the dining room. The original gas chandeliers, converted to electric, called “gasoliers,” are found in the foyer, dining room and master bath. The wallpaper in the front parlor and the dining room reflect the Victorian sensibility, while the remodeled guest bath features an Egyptian desert scene. Visitors are invited to stroll through the gardens around the home to enjoy the many native plants, flowers and fruit trees.
Larry Gold and Bobby Milford, owners

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1808 Federal Home
244 High Street

Workshop and Garden. The yard of this c.1808 Federal home was once a parking lot. The owners have transformed it into a grand lawn, adding more than 200 boxwood and a line of crepe myrtles and hedge of arbor vitae. The terraced site sits atop a massive stone buttress built in the 18th century. The lower section holds an herb garden, cutting garden and greenhouse. An iron balcony sits above the patio garden. The Colonial-era building in the side yard is the owner’s woodworking shop. The owner handbuilt the workshop after studying with Colonial Williamsburg’s head brick mason. It is a copy of the Greenhow Office in Colonial Williamsburg.
Lee and Zoe Ballenger, owners

Marie Bowen Gardens
Between Fairfax Street, Arch Street and Arch Circle

Garden only. Walk the inviting paths and view the native plants, flowering trees and shrubs found in this woodland garden nestled in the Walnut Hill neighborhood. This natural setting includes witch alder fothergilla, leatherleaf viburnum and Southern wax myrtle. Petersburg’s garden clubs have a long history of preserving native specimens and enhancing the natural beauty of surrounding landscapes. In April 1979, the Raleigh Parish Garden Club named this garden in honor of Marie Bowen, who spent more than a thousand hours propagating and establishing its native plants. The park is a tribute to her and to the many neighbors, club members and volunteers who have spent these last 38 years adding native plants, camellias, azaleas, a dry creek bed and a Chippendale bridge. Directions: go south of S. Sycamore St. and right at Tuckahoe St. Travel one block;  turn left onto Fairfax Ave.
City of Petersburg, owner


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