Patterson Center

Patterson House in the Spring

History of Patterson House and Grounds

In 1932, Jefferson Patterson purchased the Peterson farm, which he then renamed Point Farm. Here he created a retreat from his life as a Diplomatic Officer with the US Department of State. He hired Gertrude Sawyer as his architect to create facilities for his farm and a home for rest and enjoyment. The 3-story brick house is built in the Federal style on a smaller scale than seen on most wealthy estates.  Miss Sawyer designed a comfortable, yet elegant, home with input from Mr. Patterson on many of the details. He picked out many of the home's furnishings, including the hand painted Chinese wallpaper in the Dining Room and the Monel metal sink for the Butler's Pantry.  After his marriage to Mary Marvin Breckinridge in 1940, the farm became a family retreat—the scene of many family picnics and parties. Surrounding the house are beautiful gardens designed by Rose Greely, a well-known landscape architect who merged formal plantings with native plants and trees to create a comfortable background for the flower-loving Mr. Patterson. Mrs. Patterson used the gardens and grounds to hold fundraising teas and parties for her charities.

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"Triangle" garden.
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Mr. Patterson in tobacco fields.
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Patterson House interior, 1960.

Restoring the Patterson House

Starting in mid-2022, a large project to restore the Patterson home will begin. This house, which had state-of-the-art utilities in 1932, will be updated with new energy-saving technologies. The exterior and interior will be cleaned, repaired, and restored. The electrical utilities that need updating will be replaced with modern wiring, plugs, and switches. The plumbing will be updated as needed. The outdated and ineffective heating and cooling systems will be replaced with a geothermal system. Mr. Patterson would have been delighted!  When restorations are complete, the home will once again be open for tours and educational programs, and the grounds will be available for events.  ​


Note: The Patterson House is currently closed to visitors during the restoration project.​


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