What’s special about the houses on lower Caroline Street in Fredericksburg is not just in the history they’ve seen. It also in how their architectural styles have been maintained despite being updated and expanded to meet the expectations of today’s homeowners.
That’s the result of a largely cooperative effort among owners, contractors and the city’s Architectural Review Board, which must offer its blessing to any proposed changes that can be seen from the street.
There are few better examples than 303 Caroline St., whose large, one-third-acre lot extends back to the bluff that rises from Sophia Street and overlooks the Rappahannock River. What dominates the Caroline Street view is a modest Dutch Colonial-style cottage, with its gambrel cedar shake roof and symmetrical outboard brick chimneys. The house is said to date to 1801.
Only partially exposed and extending laterally from the back of the house is the major addition that was built 10 years ago to boost living space. It maintains the Dutch Colonial style with side and rear-facing gambrel gables. It’s front and rear porches have standing-seam metal roofs.
Current owners Kate Kelley and Bill Mizell have owned and lived at 303 Caroline since 2015 and have made their own major interior improvements over the past four years. But now, because of job transfers that will take them out of state, it’s time to pack up and move.
“Otherwise, we would never leave this house,” Kelley said during a recent tour of the property.
In its current configuration, the house has five bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a half-bath, with about 4,100 square feet of living space on three levels. The house is listed with Charlotte Rouse of Coldwell Banker Elite in Fredericksburg. The asking price is $1.095 million.