Saturday, May 28, 2022

Where We Live: Old Ghent home features unique architectural elements

NORFOLK — Old homes have a uniqueness about them that is nearly impossible to replicate in the 21st century, and the home at 410 Fairfax Ave. is no different.

Like most old homes, this one has a bit of folklore associated with it as well.

Located in the heart of Ghent, the Colonial Revival home was built in 1901 by Alan G. Burrow, a prominent Norfolk attorney at that time.

Jeannette Rainey, listing agent for the home and a Realtor with Rose and Womble Realty, said Burrow was active in the community, serving on the board of the Traders’ & Truckers’ Bank and as a member of the Princess Anne Country Club in 1916.

He built the house, she added, for about $20,000.

Cmdr. Robert MacDougall, owner of the home, said Burrow had homes built on either side of his as well.

“What we know from the local folklore is that 410 (Fairfax) was the father’s home and that he supposedly built matching houses on either side of 410 for his two daughters,” MacDougall said. “And this seems to match what the agent found in the historic registry.”

MacDougall said the exterior paint scheme was chosen in order to reflect the Victorian inclination to use three complementary colors or shades to accentuate the architectural details of the house.

“One of the big benefits of the Hague section of Ghent is the architectural diversity that matches the diversity of the people who live in this section of Ghent,” MacDougall said. “There is truly a full range of humanity in this little corner of Norfolk.”

As most old homes do, there’s amazing woodwork and beautiful details throughout.

“I love that this home has classic turn of the century details, but all the modern amenities a person could want,” Rainey said. “For example, the ceilings are high, light fixtures have intricate designs, there is detailed molding throughout, uniquely etched door knobs, and so much more.”

The front of the home features coursed ashlar stone. It also has a gable roof with a central hipped two-part dormer and diamond-paned lights. The front door is large and made of solid oak.

Inside, the main staircase also features an abundance of impressive and beautiful oak, not only on the newel post, railings, spindles, and treads, but also wrapped around the base of the staircase itself.

Most of the homes in the surrounding section of Ghent appear to have been built between 1890 and 1904.

The rear of the home features a well-landscaped backyard, and from the second floor balcony it overlooks a section of the Elizabeth River Trail.

For more information on this four-bed, four-and-a-half bath, 3,076 square-foot home, visit Rose and Womble online.

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