It has history written all over it, and it's yours for a cool million. The Adam Craig House, built in 1784, is being sold by owner and developer Charles Macfarlane. Facing destruction in 1935, the house was bought by a chapter of Preservation Virginia and used as an African-American arts center. Macfarlane bought the house in 1998. If he can't find a buyer who appreciates the history and his price, Macfarlane says he may rent the house with an eventual plan to convert it into a bed and breakfast.
What: Adam Craig House
Where: 1812 E. Grace St.
When: Built circa 1784 by Adam Craig, a prominent court clerk and father of Jane Stith Craig Stanard, whom legend holds inspired Edgar Allan Poe's tribute “To Helen.” “She was a very sensitive kind of person, maybe very emotionally sensitive, and so was Poe,” local historian Maurice Duke says.
Description: L-shaped clapboard wood-frame house on a landscaped lawn that's a little less than half an acre. Three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, renovated kitchen with soapstone counters, circa 1815 refinished brick kitchen outhouse, outdoor brick patio and fireplace with an outdoor shower.
Historic cred: Original heart pine floors, original fireplaces, original staircase banisters (with authentic scratchings attributed to a cat of yore), period hardware, quirky period asymmetry between rooms. “It was really a plantation house,” Duke says, speculating that it once may have contained slave quarters.
Liabilities: Located in a city old and historic district, exterior changes are subject to review by the state and city. There's also the Saturday night Shockoe Bottom crowd, Macfarlane says: “It can get a little raucous when the bars let out.”
Price: $1.095 million