Built in 1844 for Norman Stewart, a Scottish tobacco merchant, the house was rented from his nephew, John Stewart, by Gen. Robert E. Lee's family during the Civil War. Following Lee's surrender at Appomattox, he lived here for just over two months. In 1893, John Stewart's widow and daughters donated the house to the Virginia Historical Society, which occupied it until 1958. The building, the sole survivor of Stewart's Row, is one of the finest Greek Revival town houses in the city.
The Home Builders Association of Virginia began renovations in June 2001 that included cosmetic repairs, HVAC, technological, electrical and plumbing upgrades, as well as ADA improvements.
The first floor includes period furniture and is decorated likewise. HBAV offices occupy the second and third floors. Tours available by appointment only.