The Wickham House in c. 1920
|Location||1015 E. Clay St., Richmond, Virginia|
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival, Late Victorian, Federal|
|NRHP reference #||69000329|
|Added to NRHP||June 11, 1969|
|Designated NHL||November 11, 1971|
|Designated VLR||November 5, 1968|
The Wickham House, also known as the Wickham-Valentine House, is a historic house museum on East Clay Street in Richmond, Virginia. Completed in 1812, it is considered one of the finest examples of architecture from the Federal period. It is now owned and operated by The Valentine, a private history museum devoted to the city's history. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971.
The Wickham House is located in Richmond's Court End neighborhood, a few blocks north of the Virginia State Capitol on the south side of East Clay Street at its corner with North 12th Street. Immediately to its west is the main gallery space of The Valentine. The house is a two-story brick structure, covered by a shallow hip roof surrounded by a low balustrade. The exterior walls have been finished in stucco scored to resemble ashlar stone. It is three bays wide, with a slightly projecting central bay. The main entrance is set in a segmented-arch opening with flanking sidelights and a semi-oval transom, and is sheltered by a portico supported by paired columns and topped by a balustrade. Windows are tri-part with narrow sections flanking wider ones; the ground-floor windows are set in recessed panels with blind segmented-arch headers. The interior features a magnificent elliptical staircase and neoclassical wallpaintings with ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian themes.
The house was built in 1812 for John Wickham to a design by Massachusetts architect Alexander Parris, although it has also previously been attributed to Robert Mills and Benjamin Latrobe. Wickham was a successful attorney who defended Vice President Aaron Burr during his trial for treason. The Victorian-era decorations found in its parlor were commissioned by John Ballard, its second owner. In 1882 it was purchased by Mann Valentine II, who filled the house with artifacts and then bequeathed them and the house for the establishment of a museum.
The house is now managed by The Valentine, the current name of original Valentine Museum, and is open for tours.