413 Ridge Street

Hudson-Smith House (aka the Dawson House)

This is an exceptional Ridge Street Historic District house built in 1881 with a full renovation completed in 2019 to restore the exterior of the home to its original design, while updating the two additions on the rear, replacing all house systems, finishes and making it energy efficient. It is a three-story house with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a living room and kitchen on the top two floors. The ground floor English basement has 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, living room, kitchen, separate HVAC, laundry and hot water heater that could be a stand alone apartment or used as part of the main house. The master suite on the main level has laundry and a master bathroom with soaker tub and separate shower.

Latitude 38 purchased the Hudson-Smith House from the Dawson family in 2017. We enjoyed getting to know sisters Judy Smith and Sylvia Dawson, who had grown up in the house, during the purchase process. Their parents purchased the home sixty years prior in 1957. Their mother was recalled as being frequently seen walking to Mt. Zion in her large hats on Sundays and their father kept a very large garden in the back lot. See the history section for more info on the Dawsons and previous owners.

The first thing we did to restore the home to its original design was to remove the faux brick asphalt siding to reveal the wood clapboard beneath. This wood was not in good shape and required significant scraping, repairing and painting. The internal “Philadelphia” gutters were quite rotted out and had to be rebuilt. Due to City of Charlottesville requirements, we decided to restore the original windows, although they are only single pane. They were removed, scraped, painted and new panes of glass installed. We removed the original weights and added custom weatherstripping and sash locks. We rebuilt the whole exterior back corner addition that was in poor shape on a new foundation and reroofed the two back additions and the original house.

On the inside, the house was in fair shape. However, we ultimately decided to remove most of the interior finishes to update the systems and to reconfigure the layout for more modern living. We built out the framing to allow for increased insulation, installed all new electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems and added tar paper to the inside of the siding (no house sheathing present) before installing open cell spray foam in the wall cavities and roof. Once drywall was installed, we installed all new finishes for modern living.

  • Projected annual utility costs for a family of 4: TBD
  • Projected HERS Index: TBD
  • Projected final blower door test: TBD ACH50, TBD whole house air change/hour at a pressure of 50 pascals
  • Projected annual energy use: TBD kWh
  • Electric Vehicle Charging: Outlet wired at rear
  • Windows: Original house windows, reglazed and weathersealed. We removed the original weights and added v-shaped spring bronze weatherstripping and sash locks from Kilian Hardware, and WS10 and WS74 weatherstripping from Conservation Technology. The addition has Pella 350 Series triple pane with Advanced Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon, vinyl white interior and bronze exterior.
  • Exterior Doors:
  • Framing: Original wood framing plus additional 2×4 studs on interior to increase insulation and stability of house.
  • Air Sealing/Insulation: 
    • Top two floors: Open cell spray foam in wall cavities (R-value varies) and ceiling (R-value TBD) on top two floors.
    • Basement:
      • Furred masonry 2×6 R-19 Unfaced Fiberglass
      • Furred Masonry Wall 2 x 4 R-15 Unfaced Fiberglass Batt
      • Furred Masonry 2×2 1.5 PFB R-11 Polyiso Foam BD.
      • Stairway Wall to Basement R-15 Unfaced Fiberglass Batt
      • Caulk Gaps in Exterior Framing Polyseamseal Silicon
      • Caulk/tbe
      • Foam Interior and Ext. Penetrations Foam Sealant
      • Chink Windows and Doors Foam Sealant
    • Sound Insulation
      • Basement Ceiling R-38 Applegate Cellulose Fiber Insu
      • Bath walls 3″ Rockwool Blanket
      • Master bedroom wall with kitchen 3″ Rockwool Blanket
      • Addition: OSB seams taped on outside with SIGA Wigluv 20/40
    • Addition: OSB seams taped on outside with SIGA Wigluv 20/40
    • Addition: TBD Wrapped in Tyvek Home Wrap and Tyvek Seam Tape
  • Basement floor:
  • Exterior Siding: Original wood weatherboard. Addition: James Hardie planks
  • Exterior siding on rear porch trellis: 1×6 cedar boards with 3/4” pressure treated furring strips with Sherwin Williams Woodscapes stain SW3512 Cider Mill
  • Exterior Paint: Sherwin Williams Duration
  • Soffit addition: JamesHardie Hardiesoffit Panels
  • Window trim addition: 1×2 MiraTEC
  • Exterior Door Paint: Sherwin Williams color TBD
  • Exterior Door Hardware: TBD
  • Driveway: Off street parking for two cars; on street parking available as well.
  • Roof: Union Corregating galvalume metal standing seam roof with 30# felt or ice/water shield
  • Front Porch: Poured concrete
  • Rear Patio: Poured concrete
  • Shed: None
  • Mailbox: TBD
  • House Numbers:
  • Porch Light: TBD
  • Room Height: 10’ on 1st floor; vaulted on 2nd floor; 8′ basement
  • Wood Floor: White Oak Solid Hardwood variable width finished in place
  • Baseboard Trim: 6″ with single routing detail
  • Door Trim: 4″ with single routing detail
  • Wall Finish: Drywall with wood accent walls made from original wood flooring
  • Doors: Lemeiux Door C11, 1 flat mdf panel w square sticking, wood edges
  • Door Hardware: 
  • Counters: TBD
  • Cabinets: TBD
  • Kitchen cabinet hardware: TBD
  • Kitchen Sink: Kraus KHU100-32 Stainless Steel 32″ Undermount Single Bowl 16 Gauge Stainless Steel
  • Kitchen Faucet: Kohler K-596 Simplice Pullout Spray High Arch Gooseneck Kitchen Faucet with DockNetik, ProMotion, and MasterClean Technologies Finish: Vibrant Stainless
  • Master/Guest Bathroom Tile: 
  • Master Vanity:
  • Master shower: Frameless custom glass, black pulls and hinges
  • Master mirror: Solid plate 1/4″ large format
  • Guest tub/shower:
  • Guest/Half Bathroom Vanity:
  • Guest Medicine Cabinet:
  • Shower fixtures:
  • Bathroom Faucets: 
  • ToiletsAmerican Standard Cadet 3 Flowise Elongated Concealed Trapway 1.28 gpf or Toto Aquia® II WaterSense dual flush
  • Bath Hardware: TBD
  • Lighting: TBD, similar to:
    • Kovacs P470-077 1 Light 11.25″ Height ADA Compliant Wall Sconce in Chrome
    • Portfolio 3-Light Standard White Step Linear Track Lighting Kit Lowes Item #: 233036 | Model #: 15744-000
    • Project Source 3-Light White Step Linear Track Lighting Kit Lowes Item #: 372868 | Model #: EC873WH-3
    • Feit Electric 300-Watt T3 Recessed Double Contact Base Bright White Dimmable Halogen Accent Light Bulb Lowes Item #: 132533 | Model #: BPQ300T3CLRSTRP
    • Metalux Snf Series Fluorescent Strip Light (Common: 4-ft; Actual: 48-in) Lowes Item #: 163719 | Model #: SNF232RC
    • Metalux SNF Series Fluorescent Strip Light (Common: 2-ft; Actual: 2-ft) Lowes Item #: 50936 | Model #: SNF217R
    • Secure Home240-Degree 2-Head Dual Detection Zone Bronze LED Motion-Activated Flood Light with Timer Item #: 670562 |  Model #: SH-5942-BZ-A
  • Equipment: TBD, similar to:
  • Refrigerator: 
  • Dishwasher:
  • Range:
  • Hood: 
  • Microwave: Outlet in pantry for countertop model
  • Garbage Disposal:
  • Washer:
  • Dryer:  LGDLE3170W
  • Hot Water Heater: EcoSmart instant electric
  • Heat/AC 1st FloorDuctless Fujitsu Halcyon Outdoor Unit AOU9RLS3 and Indoor Unit ASU9RLS3
  • Heat/AC 2nd Floor: Ducted Fujitsu Halcyon Outdoor Unit AOU9RLFC and Indoor Unit ARU9RLF HFI Cold 9,000BTU/Hot 12,000BTU Mini Split Concealed Slim Duct Heat Pump 21.5 SEER / 12.2 HSPF
  • Fresh AirRenewAire EV90 Energy Recovery Ventilation
  • Cable/Internet: Comcast, Ting and Century Link phone wired from outside to basement stairwell
  • Ethernet Connections: Living rooms, bedrooms
  • Surround Sound Systems: N/A

G. Wallace Spooner purchased the house at 409 Ridge Street with 1.36 acres in 1861. When he defaulted on his mortgage, the property was sold to John L. Cochran at auction in 1871. The Spooners continued to live there, however, and were able to repurchase it in 1894. Circa 1881, during the period of Cochran’s ownership, a house was built at 413 Ridge Street which was sold by Cochran to CNP Hudson in 1891. Hudson had married Spooner’s daughter Fannie in 1889, and tradition says that Spooner built this house for her. Fannie Spooner Hudson is said to have been killed a few years later in a fall from a horse, and the house was sold. Mrs. Willie Ann Smith bought it in 1895. She lived there for many years and later used it as a rental property before selling it to Mattie Lee Lamb in 1947. When William A. Lynch bought the house in 1955, it had been used as rental property for a number of years and had deteriorated badly. He renovated it, including removing three of the five fireplaces. Mr. and Mrs. William T. Dawson, Jr. bought the house from Lynch in 1957. They covered the weatherboarding with imitation brick asbestos siding in 1963, enclosed the back porch, and replaced the front porch and steps with concrete. 

The multitude of steep gables with pendants and lacy sawnwork distinguish this fanciful Italianate house. Also of note are the entrance porch and the nicely detailed window treatments. 

This Italianate cottage is two storeys tall above an English basement of brick laid in six-course American bond. The original weatherboarding has been covered with asbestos siding in an imitation-brick pattern. It is two bays wide and double-pile, with a one-story kitchen wing and enclosed back porch. The steeply pitched bellcast gable roof sweeps down toward the bottom of the second story windows and has gables on all sides of the house, including over both bays on the south side. The roof is covered with standing-seam metal and has widely projecting eaves and verges and a bracketed boxed cornice with returns. There is a pendant at the peak of each gable, and scroll sawn decoration offsets the sharp angles at the peak and in the cornice returns.There are three interior chimneys, one in the original section and two smaller ones in the additions. There is a one storey rectangular bay window on the facade. It has a bellcast truncated-hip roof, boxed cornice with brackets and dentil moulding, and a pair of full-sized windows. Windows are segmental-arched, double-sash, six-over-six light, with bracketed cornices and chamfered surrounds. The windows above the bay are a paired, tall, narrow, circular-headed, four-over-four light. There is a gable-roofed dormer above the entrance. The basement windows are much shorter, three-over-three, segmental arched. The small entrance porch is reached by a flight of nine concrete steps. It has a sawn balustrade, chamfered square posts with sawn brackets, and cornice and roof matching those of the bay window. The entrance door has a cornice matching the windows, and repeats their segmental arch in its six panels with moulded rails. The interior follows the side hall plan with two room on each of three levels. Two of the original five fireplaces remain. The stairway is open-well, two flights, with a window on the landing that reaches nearly from floor to ceiling. The kitchen wing is probably original. It has a low-pitched bellcast gable roof, and the side window matches that in the original section.

The Hudson-Smith House is believed to have been built for his daughter by G. Wallace Spooner, an amateur architect and prominent Charlottesville builder whose construction projects included Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Christ Church, and the present portico on the Albemarle County Courthouse. He was the son of George W. Spooner, one of the builders at the University, and the grandson of John M. Perry, one of Jefferson’s master builders who worked both on Monticello and on the University. 

Source Documents for 413 Ridge Street:

City of Charlottesville Landmark Survey

National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form – Charlottesville Multiple Resource Nomination: Ridge Street Historic District Page 16

George Wallace Spooner also designed Alden House, the uninhabited brick Queen-Anne style house on the top of Observatory Hill at UVA.

More can be read about the Spooner family here under “Builders Associated with the Perry Family.”

Ridge Street Oral History Project: Elizabeth F. Dawson (Dec 1995) pp51-57

Ridge Street Oral History Project: Full Report (Dec 1995)

Ridge Street Oral History Project: Race and Place at the Virginia Center for Digital History at The University of Virginia

Ridge Street Architectural Design Control District

Ridge Street Historic District

Sq. Feet: 2038 + 1275 (ground floor)
Bedrooms: 4
Bath: 3.5