NPS Logo

Historical Background

Biographical Sketches

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

Text and History of Constitution

Suggested Reading

Signers of the Constitution
Survey of
Historic Sites and Buildings


Location: Duke of Gloucester Street near Nassau Street, Colonial Williamsburg.

John Blair apparently lived in this residence for the greater part of his life, but little is known about its other history. The older of its two sections dates from the early 18th century. The 1-1/2-story, frame structure had brick exterior end chimneys. A pair of windows flanked the central front entrance. A small shed may have been attached at the rear.

Later, likely in the third quarter of the 18th century, the smaller western portion, including a new staircase, was added on the same axis to create the existing seven-bay facade. A separate front entrance was provided, and the chimney on the west end of the earlier structure was enlarged to form the present interior chimney. The stone steps at both entrances were also installed.

The Colonial residence was restored in 1930, and is in excellent condition. The five unevenly spaced hipped-roof dormers on the south, or front, side of the gable roof were rebuilt and modeled after an unaltered rear dormer. Shutters, corner boards, and eaves cornice, as well as most of the interior trim, were also replaced. Some of the frame of the house was also renewed, and the west chimney was rebuilt. The louvered double door of the addition is original, and served as a model for the reconstructed door of the earlier section. Both are topped by rectangular transoms. Paneled shutters flank the windows.

Blair House
Blair House. (Colonial Williamsburg.)

Both entrances open to hallways. In the older section, a room is situated on each side of the central hall; the addition consists of a hall and a large room. The second floor contains three bedrooms. Original features include the marble mantel in the large west room, the east stairway, and most of the floors. Although the interior walls were altered and rebuilt in 1923, some original partitions, of poplar filled with 4-inch-thick brick nogging, and some oak clapboards of the west wall of the early structure have been preserved.

Blair House, used as a duplex residence, is not open to visitors.

Previous Next
Last Updated: 29-Jul-2004