Law office once again graces Folly grounds

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

In Suffolk, in particular, history has a way of repeating itself with respect to historic sites. The latest entrant into the restoration of the city’s proud heritage is a replica of the law office of Nathaniel Riddick, the son of &uot;Riddick’s Folly&uot; designer, Mills Riddick.

Riddick and his wife, Mary Taylor Riddick, built the Folly in 1837, and their son acquired the home after his father’s death in 1844. He added a law office to the grounds of the home in 1850. The Folly earned that name because of the structure’s design that was so unique to this area.

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Nathaniel Riddick’s Law Office is pictured in an existing 1863 lithograph that was drawn during the Union occupation of the city.

The Folly had the small Greek revival structure moved from its original site on Longstreet Lane just off Route 58, to the site where Riddick’s office once stood. It is a small wood-frame building, similar in size and architecture to the original office that served the attorney.

Now that the structure has been set in place, it will be restored as a period law office. Anderson Restoration and Improvements, the people who recently refurbished &uot;Gardener’s Store,&uot; moved the small office building.

Robin Riddick, executive director of the Folly, said this move comes at time when Suffolk’s Downtown Revitalization efforts are in full swing. She added that the restored law office will further enhance Suffolk’s historic district.

&uot;It is the goal of Riddick’s Folly to have the building restored within one year of the move,&uot; said Rountree. &uot;To date, Riddick’s Folly has raised $20,000 through donations by generous individuals and organizations in our community. The estimated total of the move and restoration is expected to be $75,000.&uot;

Rountree added that this ambitious project is made possible by the continuing support of the people of Suffolk, the City of Suffolk; and the Riddick’s Folly Board of Directors, volunteers and staff.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to this historic preservation project, should make checks payable to: Riddick’s Folly, Inc., PO Box 1722, Suffolk, VA 23439. Rountree added that &uot;Law Office&uot; should be written in the memo line of the check.

For more information on Riddick’s Folly, email