A historic home called Bassett Hall can be found in Williamsburg, Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg neighborhood. The house underwent a number of alterations and additions after its initial construction in the early 18th century. Today, it is a well-liked vacation spot for locals who are curious about history and architecture.
John Robinson constructed Bassett Hall’s original building in the early 1700s. Robinson was well-known in early Virginia, where he held several important positions, including Speaker of the House of Burgesses and several times acting Governor of the colony. The house was still owned by the Robinson family up until the middle of the 19th century, when Robert Saunders bought it.
Saunders added a second floor and a back wing to the house, among other significant changes. He also increased the size of the property by acquiring more land and erecting a number of outbuildings, such as a kitchen and a dairy. Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr. purchased the home at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Rockefellers were passionate about colonial-era architecture and were interested in historic preservation. In order to give Bassett Hall its original colonial appearance, they made a number of changes. They worked to replace or repair many of the original features while removing many of the later additions and renovations that had been made to the house over the years.
The Rockefellers added a formal garden to the property, which was one of the most important changes they made. In order to design a stunning and historically accurate garden that would complement the house, Mrs. Rockefeller worked closely with renowned landscape architect Charles F. Gillette.
Visitors can now tour Bassett Hall and its gardens while learning about the building’s past owners and occupants. The house is crammed with antique furniture and ornaments, including several items that belonged to the Robinson family. Visitors can view a wide variety of plants and flowers that would have been typical in colonial Virginia in the gardens, which are also a well-liked attraction.
The way that Bassett Hall reflects the evolving architectural trends of colonial Virginia is one of its most intriguing features. The house’s original foundation was constructed in the Georgian architectural style, which gained popularity in England at the beginning of the 18th century. However, the house was enlarged and updated over time in a variety of architectural styles, such as Federal and Greek Revival.
While the Rockefellers’ restoration efforts were primarily focused on restoring the house to its Georgian aesthetic, they also made an effort to protect some of the later additions that were thought to be historically significant. Visitors to Bassett Hall can thus see a fascinating fusion of architectural motifs and gain knowledge of the house’s evolution over time.
Bassett Hall is notable not only for its architectural significance but also for its association with some of the most significant individuals in the history of colonial Virginia. The original owner of the home, John Robinson, was a significant political figure who influenced the colony’s growth. A number of other notable colonial figures, such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, were also related to the Robinson family.
The house’s 20th-century owners, the Rockefellers, were significant figures in American history themselves. Rich businessman and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. was renowned for his support of the arts, education, and historic preservation. His wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, was a well-known philanthropist as well as a founding member of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.