When Alexandria was first surveyed as a town in 1805, this site was one-half block south of the public square. In 1899, James Wade Bolton, one of the prominent Alexandria banking family, acquired this property. The house is exemplary of the Queen Anne Revival architecture in Louisiana. Showing traditional regional influences, such as long leaf yellow pine framing and a raised on-pier foundation, it features twice the number of principal rooms usually found in such fine residences. Additional features include fifteen foot ceilings, oak paneling, an extravagant use of windows, and an expansive curving front veranda supported by Ionic columns. Directly across St. James Street was the house of his father, George Washington Bolton, a pioneer financier and patriarch of the Bolton family in Central Louisiana. In 1979, the Bolton house was donated to the city of Alexandria by the Bolton family as a center for regional arts and crafts. At that time it was renamed "River Oaks Square."