Doug Childers/Homes Correspondent
John and Karen Townsend have been six years into an experiment that more and more people are pursuing these days. They live in a multi-generational home which includes their two daughters, as well as Karen’s parents.
But it wasn’t just about remodeling a guest bedroom.
Townsends and Karen’s parents, Gary and Martha Smith, actually bought the house at 3002 Rugby Road in the Carillon area of Richmond as part of a joint investment. And they built a 1,655 square foot addition with a separate street entrance for the Smiths.
“We knew we were going to build a wing from the start,” Karen said.
The 4,400-square-foot colonial-revival home, which had only had three owners since it was built in 1931, was well suited for major expansion. It sits on a double plot, with ample space for a large addition on the northeast side of the property.
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After buying the house in 2016, the Townsends and Smiths hired Roger S. Guernsey, a Williamsburg-based architect, to design a two-story wing with two bedrooms and separate offices for the Smiths, as well as a bathroom. and a half.
Guernsey plans also repurposed a 1960s addition to make it the parents’ wing living room and kitchenette.
Guernsey researched cottages in the area before deciding on an Arts and Crafts design for the new wing, Karen said. The style sets the new addition apart from the main house while blending in with the traditional aesthetic of the neighborhood.
“Its distinctive shift in materials and style gives the initial impression of a separate, more intimate scale cottage,” said Beth O’Leary, former associate curator of American art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. and resident of Carillon who has done many jobs. neighborhood research.
She added: “The cozy effect works wonderfully in the neighborhood of Carillon, filled with homes built in a variety of styles and sizes over the past century and a half.”
The main house at 3002 Rugby Road, which features elaborate brickwork and classic detailing, was designed by H. Carl Messerschmidt (1891-1994), of Richmond, for local entrepreneur Edward J. Keegan and his wife, Jane.
Messerschmidt was a prolific architect active from 1915 to 1958, O’Leary said. But he is best known today for the Art Deco-style facade of Perly’s Restaurant (1930) at 111 East Grace Street and the Art Deco and International-style Cary Street Park and Shop Center (1938) in Richmond’s Carytown. (He is now known as Cary Court.)
“It was one of the first malls in the South with an attached parking space,” O’Leary said.
Messerschmidt’s commercial work—stores, factories, and warehouses—was extensive. His residential projects are rare. The house at 3002 Rugby Road is among the most notable.
“The house has beautiful detailing on all sides, including a three-tiered cornice and transom at the rear,” O’Leary said.
The facade’s neoclassical doorway is particularly notable, with an elegant transom, Doric columns and a full Greek entablature, O’Leary said.
The Townsends and Smiths are avid gardeners, and they used plantings and flower beds to tie the new wing seamlessly into Messerschmidt’s original design.
Other more recent renovation projects include the kitchen in the main house, which the Townsends have returned to its original layout. “We went a year without having a kitchen to cook in,” Karen said.
When replacing the kitchen floor, they discovered that the original heart pine planks were still intact under two newer layers of flooring. “It’s one of the last old-growth pines in Louisiana,” Karen said. “We appreciate it.”
Other standouts from the kitchen remodel include a double-drain cast-iron sink, which the Townsends found in New England. It’s about the same age as the house.
Readers interested in touring the house and garden are in luck as the property will be part of this year’s Historic Garden Week in Virginia, along with four other homes on Rugby Road. The event will take place on April 27.
The Council of Historic Richmond, which is partnering with the Garden Club of Virginia for the event, organized the Rugby Road walking tour.
This will be the second time the home of 3002 Rugby Road has been on tour. The first dates back to 2005 – the last time the tour featured the historic district of Carillon.
“3002 is a wonderful example of how historic homes can be transformed to meet the current needs of its owners and extended family, a thoughtful and respectful marriage of historic architecture and new construction,” said Susan Fisher, associate broker at Virginia Properties, Long & Foster and a resident of Carillon. She is also a board member and board member of Historic Richmond.
She added: “The Townsends and Smiths have done a fabulous job of landscaping and landscaping to make everything fit together perfectly.”
Editor’s Note: This is part of the Great Homes of Richmond series.