William W. Watts bought Elmwood’s 20-acre site from State Sen. John D. Harris and hired local craftsmen to build what the Richmond Climax called his “palace on Lancaster Avenue.” Designed in the Chateauesque style by French Canadian architect Samuel E. Des Jardins, Elmwood’s exterior features include porches, two-story bay and a carriage entrance. The slated roof has cooper roof crests and gutters; many windows are leaded or stained glass. The bricks were made on site by local bricklayer Samuel Rice. Inside are five bedrooms, library, formal dining room, kitchen, parlor, several sitting rooms, maid’s quarters, attic and cellar. The three-story house is about 9,000 square feet with multiple outbuildings.