John Waddey Carter House 7
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[This is one of a set of 8 photos} The John Waddey Carter House in Martinsville, Virginia, was built in 1896; the architect was George Franklin Barber, mail-order architect from Knoxville, Tennessee. This was a wedding present for Carter’s second wife, Kizziah Drewery. Locally the house is known as the “Gray Lady.” Carter was a lawyer and politician, one-time mayor of Martinsville.
A somewhat subdued Barber design, this is still a remarkable Queen Anne with architectural features galore. It’s a 2-story frame weatherboard structure with a dominating central gable, under which are found porches on both first and second floors. The roofline is complex with the front gable, steep-pitched cross gables, and a tower with onion dome. The roof is hipped, standing-seam metal-clad. A large dormer window is on the side with narrow double windows. Running bond brick forms the foundation.
The first level front façade has a wrap-around porch that contains the bulge of the tower. It has a frieze of beaded spindlework, turned posts and lace brackets, and a balustrade consisting of thick balusters but with panels at the corners. The porch gable has a board-and-batten decoration and a very basic bargeboard. The second-level porch has more involved ornamentation with a base of fish-scale shingles, a wide, subdued bargeboard, and stylized floral corner medallions. The central gable is decorated with fish-scale shingles and has two small 1/1 windows, the upper portions with a design of diagonal muntins.
The octagonal tower is more a part of the mass of the house rather than a taller, more prominent element. Fish-scale shingles form the base of the tower above the roofline; above this are small sunburst windows; and above the windows is an overhang with prominent brackets. Capping the tower is a small onion-dome with patterned metal shingles. A variety of windows exists throughout—tall but narrow 1/1 paned windows, single-paned, round, half-round, arched, and stained glass (I didn’t spot this). The entrance is simple with large sidelights and a decorative sunburst pattern below them.
Modifications have been made to the original house to accommodate additions of a bathroom and kitchen.
The house was listed November 3, 1988 on the National Register of Historic Places with ID #88002180. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources nomination file includes a very detailed account of the interior arrangement and decorative elements.
A nice b&w photo (no date given) at
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