Valentine Museum

Also known as: Wickham-Valentine House
1005--1015 E. Clay St., Richmond, Virginia



The Wicham-Valentine House is one of the finest domestic expressions of early Neo-classical architecture in America. The design of the mansion, which was built in 1812 for John Wickham, was executed by Alexander Parris, a New England architect who also planned the nearby Virginia Governor's Mansion. Among the house's most notable features are the sophisticated plan and the elegant curved staircase with its delicate dogwood leaf and swag ornamentation. In 1854 the house was sold by the Wickhams, and subsequent owners completely redecorated the interior. In 1882, Mann S. Valentine purchased the house, and in 1892 left it, along with his collection of historical artifacts and an endowment, as the Valentine Museum. In the 1920's adjacent buildings were purchased for the growing museum collection, and the mansion was restored and furnished as a house museum. The Valentine Museum is currently (1985) sponsoring an intensive research program and investigation of the house's historic fabric to determine the nature of changes that have occurred to the building over its distinguished 173 year history. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS VA-310)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 11, 1969
Reference number
Architectural styles
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival; Victorian; Federal
Area of significance
Levels of significance
National; State
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1800-1824; 1825-1849
Significant years
1812; 1840; 1870
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 5


19th Century (37,993)
Brick (42,464)
Built 1812 (121)
Built during 1810s (1,409)
Exotic Revival (7,381)
Federal (4,600)
Historic American Buildings Survey (1,238)
House (27,766)
Mid 19th Century Revival (7,958)
National Historic Landmark (2,198)
Private owner (54,399)
Richmond, Virginia (220)
Stucco (7,816)
Victorian (19,703)
Virginia (3,637)