Monday, February 23, 2009


The double portico of Stono, in the morning light.

Stono faces east, overlooking the Maury River at Jordan's Point from high above. It was built in 1818 by and for Colonel John Jordan (1777 - 1854), one Lexington's most productive and best-known builders and businessmen.

In addition to Stono, Jordan (with his business partner from 1815 - 1824, Samuel Darst) is responsible for building part or all of numerous Lexington structures, including Washington Hall at W&L, Beaumont (home of Samuel Darst) and The Pines on Lee Avenue, the Dold Building, the former Rockbridge-Botetourt Library at 312 S. Main St., the Ann Smith School at Nelson and Lee, and the foundation stonework for the original VMI Barracks. (He is also thought to have executed brickwork at Jefferson's Monticello -- an 1805 letter exists in which he requests payment from the sitting president.) Jordan and Darst are credited with having been central in bringing the classical revival, and particularly Jeffersonian classicism, to Lexington.

According to The Architecture of Historic Lexington by Lyle and Simpson (from which most of the details in this post have been gleaned), Jordan also built roads and canals - including work on the canal from Richmond that eventually terminated just below his house at Jordan's Point - and the first covered bridge over the Maury at East Lexington.

Though presently owned by the VMI Foundation, and used as overnight accommodations for visiting "VIPs," almost 200 years ago Stono was surrounded by Jordan's "cotton, woolen, flour, grist, and lumber mills." That part is hard to imagine now:


Peter said...

Times change, fortunatley some buildings and memories remain!

Tanya said...

Love the contrast of the white of the house and the darkness of the tree. So pretty!

Clueless in boston said...

Beautiful stately building. Your two photos do it justice.

Babooshka said...

Beautiful building espcially pretty in the top shot. Very striking image white blue and the silhoutted tree.