Ludwell-Paradise House and Prentis Store
Oblique view of the front elevations of the Ludwell-Paradise House and Prentis Store, looking east down Duke of Gloucester Street, 1935. One of the eighty-eight original eighteenth-century buildings at Colonial Williamsburg, the Ludwell-Paradise house (pictured to the left) played an important role in the museum's founding as the first property purchased by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Members of the Ludwell family resided here in the eighteenth century, and Lucy Ludwell Paradise, one of their more eccentric offspring, became a well-known socialite in both London and Virginia. She also became a namesake for this home that is a cornerstone of Williamsburg's restoration.
The Prentis Store, pictured to the right, was built circa 1739-1740. Another one of Williamsburg's eighty-eight original eighteenth-century buildings, "the Prentis Store is Williamsburg's best-surviving example of a colonial store. The firm of Prentis and Company (named after the store's original merchant-shop keeper, William Prentis), operated a highly successful general store in this handsome original building from 1740 until the Revolution. A classic example of store architecture, its gable end faces the street. Through the door above, merchandise could easily be lifted into the loft. Windows along the sides were located toward the rear of the building to light the counting room and to leave long, blank walls for ample shelving in the sales area."
(Source: Michael Olmert and Suzanne Coffman, Official Guide to Colonial Williamsburg [Williamsburg, VA: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2007], 52-53).