History of the Ellen Glasgow House – Richmond VA

This is the square gray house where I have lived… and written all my books, with the exception of “Life and Gabriella”

Ellen Glasgow
The Ellen Glasgow House at twilight

Words fail to describe the true significance of the Ellen Glasgow House. Built in 1841, the property is listed as both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. “The Square Gray House” of the Pulitzer Prize winning author was the location where she wrote all but one of her novels and Ellen emotively states in her auto-biography that “The fibers of my personality are interwoven, I feel, with some indestructible element of the place; and this element is superior to time and chance”.

The Glasgow House is a Virginia and National Landmark

The property is perhaps the best example of true preservation of a home in Central Virginia due to its continual use, lack of unnecessary alterations and loving maintenance by its owners. This is best evidenced by the century old wallpaper that was installed by Ellen in her writing room which is still intact.

Ellen’s wallpaper in her writing room today

As equally noteworthy is the home’s architectural significance. Mary Wingfield Scott was stirred to write about the Glasgow house in her book Houses of Old Richmond that “The house is in the most perfect condition of any of the remaining Greek Revival mansions.” and that “The Doric columns of the entrance are considerably heavier than those of the Barret, Clarke or Bransford houses. The Glasgow mansion gives an impression of solid dignity”

Original gas-lit crystal chandelier and Madison Mirror

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