Friday, September 11, 2015

35/15 Part 9 - Botetourt Street to the Capitol Area

What is 35/15? Read the Introduction first.

(Note: All 1935 photographs are on the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library Omeka site. They are viewable by clicking the link provided, scrolling to the bottom of the page, then clicking the image.)

   Back on the road again, let's finish the rest of the sites on Duke of Gloucester Street and head towards the Capitol!

Sign of the Golden Ball / Millinery



Millinery, July 28, 2015, 11:16 am

   An original building, this shop has gone through a few iterations. Before it was restored, it was a car repair shop and sold tires. After it was restored in 1930, it housed Pender's Grocery. It was named Sign of the Golden Ball. The Golden Ball is now the name of the Silversmith's store currently next door. So why was this building holding the other's name? Was it a mistake that was then corrected?
"Adjoining [the brick shop], in 1765, a Jeweler's Shop, called the Sign of the Golden Ball, was opened. This Shop afterwards disappeared and the Name is now transferred to the remaining building."
 - "A Brief and True Report for the Traveller Concerning Williamsburg in Virginia," 1935

   Well there you go. In 1937, the Sign of the Golden Ball became one of the first craft [trade] sites in town. A german pewterer Max Rieg worked in here. In 1951, he moved out. With more architectural investigations and research, the building was further restored to its colonial appearance. The porch was taken away, the floor was raised to its colonial height, and new steps were built. In 1954, Margaret Hunter's Millinery opened to the public. Not many changes have happened here since then.

   So, the pictures themselves. In 1935, the building you can see beyond the Grocery is the side of the Raleigh Tavern. A grassy field lay between the two buildings. The dedication ceremony for the Raleigh was held there. Now, the Golden Ball (1948) and the Unicorn's Horn (1952) lay in-between.

   No more grass in front of the shop. The trees are not as many, but taller. This is a late morning shot, which was when Revolution in the Streets occurred this summer, so it was nearly impossible to get a pedestrian-free shot.

Purdie's Dwelling / John Coke Office



John Coke Office, August 13, 2015, 12:21 pm

   This small, ordinary-looking building is now one of my favorite stories I have learned. It's a quiet building sitting between King's Arms and Shield's Taverns.

   This was originally a 19th century, two story, square shaped building with a porch. In 1929, the Restoration architects searched for the original foundations, finding the 18th century building was a 24' x 16' rectangle. The 19th century building was partially demolished in 1930 to make it more to its 18th century appearance. As per request from the life tenant of the building for more space, the building was only partially restored, leaving extra additions to the back and side of the building, creating an "L" shape. In 1958, after the life tenant had passed away, the building was partially demolished yet again to de-build it to the shape of the 18th century building on the site.

John Coke Office 2015, with yellow lines
approximating what it looked like 1935-1958

   In the 1930's it was mistakenly called Alexander Purdie's Dwelling in 1935 and the Tilledge House before then. Now, Mr. Purdie's owns part of the King's Arms complex. Since the mid-1940's, John Coke has been named the owner of this buiding. John Coke the second, mind you. His grandfather, John Coke Senior, gave his name to the Coke-Garret House.

   The building has gone from six windows on the side to four. When I was scouting out this particular photo, I wasn't sure it was this building. It didn't have the same amount of windows. What building loses windows? Is it a different building altogether? Yet looking at the demolition blueprints, it calls for the middle windows on both floors to be removed.

   The elaborate fencing is gone. The taverns have taken up the plant space, so a crepe myrtle and bushes have been squeezed on either side of the Office. A little bit of grass remains. The chimney in the background on the left in 1935 is the back addition of the Office, now removed.

Ayscough's Shop



Ayscough Shop, July 28, 2015, 6:25 pm

   So, this is an 18th century building, but not counted as one of the 88 original buildings. Why? It was disassembled, then its foundation was repaired with new materials. It still has many original 18th century features, rivaling some buildings that have been deemed "original" buildings.

When first restored, it was the "Forge and Wheel," selling pottery, wrought iron, books, and glassware. From 1937 to 1965, this was another initial craft site, home of the Cabinetmaker. In 1966, it became home to the Gunsmiths. Since 2009, the Joiners have been here.

   The crepe myrtle engulfs this corner of the shop now. There is no sign anymore. The steps now have railing going down. The fence looks like it is the same fence from 1935 and has seen some things. The windows are are closed because the Joiners were working on the Market House so their shop was closed during that time.

Ayscough's Shop and Capitol



Plants, August 7, 2015, 3:30 pm

Unobstructed view, backed up to the wooded area
To get as far back as Lincoln was, you need to be in a parking lot looking through brush and trees, or maybe be right in the brush. The current path is approximately where the 1935 trees were.

Looking at the unobstructed view, there are less trees surrounding the Ayscough Shop. There is a wider oyster shell path, but the grass is still dominant over here. A lot of different trees here. All but one of the trees leading up to the Capitol are now gone. Because of this, you can see the bottom of the Capitol, but all the other trees now block out everything else. Speaking of the Capitol...

Hope you're ready, but that's where we will be next time.

Sources Used:
"The Restoration of Colonial Williamsburg" Architectural Record, December 1935
"Williamsburg Before and After" Book by George Humphrey Yetter, 1988
"Behold Williamsburg" Book by Samuel Chamberlin, 1947
[PDF] Buildings located in Neighborhoods in an Architectural Preservation District - Williamsburg
Williamsburg's Four Original Stores: An Architectural Analysis
"A Brief and True Report for the Traveller Concerning Williamsburg in Virginia," Book, 1935
John Coke Architectural Report
John Coke Office 1958 Blueprints
Colonial Williamsburg: Then and Now
New Colonial Williamsburg Gunsmith

View the whole 35/15 Project:
Part 1 - College of William and Mary 
Part 2 - Merchants Square
Part 3 - Buildings that Move
Part 4 - Market Square
Part 5 - Ludwell-Paradise
Part 6 - Queen Street to Botetourt Street
Part 7 - Raleigh Tavern
Part 8 - Paints
Part 9 - Botetourt Street to the Capitol Area (You are currently viewing this one)
Part 10 - Capitol
Part 11 - No Longer Here
Part 12 - Francis and Nicholson Streets
Part 13 - Garden Edition
Part 14 - The Governor's Palace Gardens
Part 15 - Inside the Governor's Palace

Bonus 35/15 Posts:
35/15: A Dessert Order
35/15: Life in Williamsburg in 1935
35/15: Governor's Palace Wallpaper
35/15: Governor's Palace Wallpaper II

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