Circa 1820: Our records and logic argue that the “new” brick wing of the house was built in 1817-1820.
The symbolism of the house addition: the new half is taller than the old. Its roof looms over the other half. Inside, there is a dramatic three-step rise into what is now the living room or front parlor. The same step up exists upstairs, from one bedroom and hallway up into the new grander bedroom.
The new half is brick – no attempt made to match the fronts, instead relying on the new, sturdier, more impressive, more dramatic brick front.
A new grand front porch unites the two, presenting a look of a statelier, grander edifice than before.
The new wing seems to represent a bold swagger – gone is the utilitarian humble pile within which an erudite attorney like William Roane could read law while running several farms. Gone the single frame abode where the hardworking Spencer grew up, focusing on both schoolwork with his Scottish tutor and on cutting down the trees around the plantation.