The Martin Mansion
The Martin Mansion, home to the Woman's Club of Norfolk since 1925 is located in beautiful and historic Ghent in Norfolk, Virginia. The Alvah Martin Mansion was built circa 1909. It is a 10,000 sqft, 21 room Georgian revival and available for a limited number of rentals per year, but closed to events during the months of July and August. The Woman's Club purchased the Mansion in 1925 from the Martin Family. It originally was sold in 1920, after Alvah and Mary Martin passed, to the Virginia Club, a gentleman's organization now in downtown Norfolk.
Norfolk's Renaissance Man, Alvah Martin, the original owner of what is now The Woman's Club of Norfolk, watched his stately mansion being built in 1909 from his family's current home next door. Alvah was an attorney, bank President, and the county clerk for 33 years. He also served on President Taft's Executive Committee and used his influence with the President to secure the Port of Norfolk as the port of entry for the state of Virginia. Some of the vast properties he purchased throughout the years included the Martin Building, now serving as the Tidewater Community College Library and the renowned Smith and Welton building, home of the famous White Glove Tearoom. Mr. Martin built an additional residence next to his residence for his daughter, Faye, and her husband S.L. Slover, for whom the new Norfolk Library was named. The Slovers raised Faye's sister's son, Frank Batten, who later became the co founder of The Weather Channel and founded Landmark Media Enterprises, which owned the Virginian-Pilot and the Ledger-Star newspapers.