White House of the Confederacy
One of the best-known homes in Richmond, the White House of the
Confederacy was built as a private residence, with construction
completed in 1818. It overlooks Shockoe Valley from its location at the
corner of 12th and Clay Streets. Although it was originally a two-story
dwelling, a third story was added just before the Civil War during
refurbishing that tranformed it from neo-classical to
At the invitation of its owner, the city purchased the residence and
its contents in June 1861 when the Confederacy relocated its capital to
Richmond. The home was leased by the city to the Confederacy for use as
the Executive Mansion.
After the fall of the Confederacy, the residence served as
headquarters for occupying Federal troops from 1865-70, then as a school
from 1870-90. Threatened by demolition, it was saved by a group of
Richmond women in 1890 and reopened in 1896 as the Confederate Museum.
Extensive renovation in the 1980s restored the mansion to its wartime
appearance, and it is now open to the public, administered by the Museum of the Confederacy.
For more information, see White House of the Confederacy: An Illustrated History (1993).