John Wayt Cosby Architectural Drawings


John Wayt Cosby Architectural Drawings


Architecture, Domestic--Designs and plans
Architectural drawing--19th century
Architecture, Domestic--North Carolina


The drawings in this collection are held in the Archives at Hampden-Sydney College, and include Specifications and Drawings for Spiers House, Raleigh, NC, 1862. The Spiers house was never constructed, and little information has been found regarding the Spiers family. Plans for the house offer a glimpse into antebellum architecture, in particular plans for a structure intended to house not only a family but enslaved servants. The collection was digitally reproduced by the University of Virginia in 2014. 

"John Wayt Cosby (March 13, 1815-July 13, 1867), a son of the prominent brick builder Dabney Cosby, was one of several antebellum builders who developed design skills and established an identity as an architect. Working in a range of revival styles popular in the 1840s and 1850s and maintaining a close relationship with his father, he was the architect for several substantial buildings including some erected by the older man." Author: Catherine W. Bishir. Contributor: J. Marshall Bullock. From North Carolina Architects & Builders, a Biographical Dictionary


Cosby, John W. (1815-1867)
John Waitt Cosby
John Wayt Cosby


Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections




Mary Prevo, Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts


The nature of the Hampden-Sydney College Archives and Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts.

As a result, Hampden-Sydney College claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning and individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the College assumes no responsibility.






Still Image


Raleigh (N.C.)


25 items

Access Rights

Collection is open for research.

Collection Items

Spiers House, Plan No. 1, Plan of Foundation, and Plan No. 5, Framing of Front
Plan of stone foundations (No. 1) and plan of timber framing for the facade wall (No. 5) including notes as to size of beams and method of joining. Signed and dated: "John W. Cosby archt/ Jan 14th 1862, Raliegh/NC". Condition: has sustained vertical…

Spiers House, First Floor Plan, No. 2.
Scaled first floor plan, numbered plan 2. Signed: "John W Cosby Archt/ Raleigh/ Jan 14 1862 N.C." Condition, good, some mulberry paper repairs on back to small edge tears.

Spiers House, No. 3, Second Floor Plan
Second floor plan of house. Signed: "John W Cosby archt/Raleigh/Jan 14 1862 N.C." Condition: Good, some mulberry paper repairs on back to small edge tears.

Spiers House, Verso of Plan No. 3 with penciled redrawing of plan.
Pencil redrawing of second floor plan reflecting changes (/). Unsigned and undated. Condition: good.

Spiers House, Plan No. 4, Section Through on Line A(subscript 1) A(subscript2)
Cross section of main house through principal formal rooms. Signed: "John W Cosby Archt/ Raleigh/ Jan 14, 1862/ N.C. " Condition: good

Spiers House, Plan No. 6, Front Elevation.
Colored presentation drawing, elevation of east side of house, principal facade. Labeled, "Plan No 6". Signed, "John W Cosby Architect/Raleigh/Jan 14th 1862/NC". Condition, good; some staining and foxing on perimeter of support, some mulberry paper…

Spiers House, No. 7, South Side Elevation
Colored presentation drawing, elevation of south side of house. Labeled, "Plan No 7". Signed, "John W Cosby Architect/ Jan 14th 1862 Raleigh/NC". Condition, good; corner losses and some mulberry paper repairs on back to small edge tears.

Spiers House, Plan No. 8, North Side Elevation.
Colored presentation drawing, elevation of north side of house. Labeled, "Plan No 8". Signed, "John W Cosby Architect/Jan 14th 1862 Raleigh/NC". Condition, good; corner losses and some mulberry paper repairs on back to small edge tears.

Spiers House, No 9, Cornice and Cantilever of Main Building
Full scale, detail of the upper frieze of the main building cornice including a section through the gutter and details of moldings for the bed mold and cantilever brackets. Unsigned. Condition: good with some corner and edge losses, lined with…

Spiers House, Cornice Molding and Architrave, unlabeled (lower extension of No. 9)
Unsigned. Full-scale detail of cornice molding and architrave, this drawing is the lower extension of "Plan No. 9, Cornice and Cantilever of Main Building," showing a profile view of lower half from wall from volute scroll to architrave. Unsigned.…

Spiers House
Reverse of drawing - pencil sketch of moldings barely visible through mulberry backing paper.

Spiers House, No. 10 Front Face of Cantilever of Cornice for Center Building and Tower
Full-sized detail drawing of the front face of the main building and tower cornice bracket (cantilever) including acanthus, tongue-and-dart, bead-and-double-reel moldings. Signed: "John W Cosby Archt/ Raleigh/Jan 14th 1862 N.C." Condition: good, some…

Spiers House, No. 11 and No. 12, Cornice of Portico and Bay Window, Full Size, side and front elevation
Full-size, side and front elevation drawings for the exterior eaves and cornice of the portico and bay window, including details of gutter and interlacing pendant eaves arcades. Architectural moldings include acanthus, tongue-and-dart, bead-and-reel,…

Spiers House, No. 13, Cornice and Console of Window Head and No. 14, Window and Door Facing
Two drawings on a single sheet including detailed drawing to scale of cornice and console of window head for interior windows in principal rooms, calling for acanthus, rosette, and scroll decorative carving and a section for a typical window and door…

Spiers House, architectural detail (extension of another drawing?)
Unsigned, the bottom part of an acanthus decoration in profile. Must be an extension on another drawing. Condition: good
View all 25 items