The earliest buildings of architectural importance in the colonies were the old manor-houses in Virginia and Maryland, and up to twenty years before the Civil War the South continued to lead in architecture, as in the fame of their hospitality, among the country houses of the land. The earliest were of brick. . . and in design they followed very closely the English houses of the same period.
The famous old mansion "Westover" on the James River [in Virginia] is the best-known example of the period, and is exceedingly close in its resemblance to the work of the English architects who succeeded.
[Eastover is supposed to resemble Westover.] While much smaller than the original, it preserves the simple dignity and grace of the older house, and that with many departures from old lines. Bay-windows were almost unknown in Colonial days, yet here is one absolutely fitting to the house, and charming in itself. The double break in the wall where the bay joins the flat surface of the hosue may be the secret of the success of the treatment, but it probably lies deeper -- in the thorough sympathy between the designer and the style.
I do not see a lot of resemblance between Eastover and Westover. (Westover has many dormer windows, which are missing on Eastover; Eastover has a bay-window and a porch, both of which are not included in Westover's plan.) However, Dow's design is attractive.
Photograph and text (unless otherwise noted) from Aymar Embury II, One Hundred Country Houses: Modern American Examples, The Century Company, New York, 1909. Digital editing by Sarah E. Mitchell.
Web Edition Copyright © 2003 Sarah E. Mitchell