Fredericksburg, Virginia is a remarkable place. I visited there a few years ago, and I was surprised at just how historic, vibrant, and culturally textured it was. I was in Fredericksburg to attend a preservation event at the University of Mary Washington (which has a fantastic undergraduate program in historic preservation, by the way). While in town, I visited several of the must-see historic sites, including the Mary Washington House (owned by George Washington’s mother), the 18th century Rising Sun Tavern, the plantation house Chatham Manor, and the Civil War battlefield (below).
All of the historic sites I visited were fascinating, and I also had a great evening at Capital Ale House, which had great beer and food. In short, my two days in Fredericksburg were fantastic — even though my visit was during the wintertime! While there, I remarked several times that I’d love to live in Fredericksburg. So . . . when I came across this amazing historic house that’s going up for auction soon, I realized that it was pretty much my dream house. Alas, I can’t afford to buy it. However, it can be yours. The house — which is located at 408 Hanover Street — will be auctioned on Friday, November 7 at 11 am!
Built in 1848, the “Duff Green House” is located in the city’s Allan Town neighborhood, and is a Greek Revival mansion of grand proportions. The interior is simply stunning. Yet for me, what seals the deal is the (awesome) cannon ball that is lodged in an exterior wall — making the house an impressive artifact of the Civil War! (see below). A stray cannonball from the December 1862 battle of Fredericksburg ended up inside an exposed brick wall of the home’s upper level that now serves as a laundry room:
If it seems weird to you that a house would have a cannon ball stuck in it, you’d be surprised to know that there are several buildings in Fredericksburg with cannon balls lodged in them. I saw one myself when I was walking around downtown. It makes sense when you consider that there were two Civil War battles in Fredericksburg, in 1862 and 1863, and they pretty much consumed the entire town in the fighting — and much of that village is preserved still today. This image gives you an idea of what it was like:
As does this one:
But have no fear, Fredericksburg is peaceful now — and beautiful. Just look at this postcard:
Anyway, the Duff Green House is an exceptional example of Greek Revival architecture and fine Flemish brick work. The entirety of the 4,800 square foot home has been completely restored to include many modern amenities, but still retains its period character. It now features 5 bedrooms and 6 baths. The property’s grand approach includes four two-story fluted Doric columns along the perimeter of the home’s sprawling front porch. A brick wall surrounds most of the property and provides residents with privacy.
As grand as the exterior of the house is, the interior is stunning — spacious and simply elegant. Check out the dramatic curved staircase in the foyer:
Classic “10 over 10” architecture and the home’s five foot tall windows fill its interior with sunlight, reflected by the fine hardwood floors throughout most of the main and upper levels. Ceilings on the main level soar at 15 feet, while the upper level ceilings stand at an impressive 12 feet.
These provide a perfect opportunity for entertaining in a formal Southern style. Both feature intricately hand-painted ceilings of exceptional detail, period style molding and chandeliers. The main level also boasts a large family room and an office, both with fireplaces.
Nine fireplaces are drawn by four symmetrical brick chimneys here.
Perhaps the “crown jewel” of this fine Southern “lady” is its outstanding, state of the art chef’s kitchen. Graced by a flying brick archway and replete with every modern convenience and amenity, the expansive kitchen contains top of the line stainless steel appliances, including a SubZero refrigerator/freezer, a Viking range, a built in wine cooler and Miele dishwashing drawers. Custom cabinetry, granite countertops and an oversized freestanding custom-built kitchen island provide ample opportunity for more casual entertaining.
Another important update to this property is the lower level’s fabulous modern apartment. This extensive suite is comprised of a large living area with three fireplaces, a large bedroom with hardwood flooring, bath and a beautifully appointed kitchen with its own stainless steel appliances, cabinetry and more.
The rear of the property has been retrofitted with a huge 40 x 46 flagstone patio and a charming goldfish pond.
Previews will be held on Sunday, October 26 and Saturday, November 1, from 12-2 pm. 408 Hanover Street is located in the town of Fredericksburg, at the corner of Prince Edward Street. A complete property package with photos, floor plans, historical report and more information is available at http://www.tranzon.com/FX6890.