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Virginia Landmarks Register

New Listings, June 2013

In June, the Virginia Board of Historic Resources approved nine new listings in the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) and two expansions of historic districts previously listed in Richmond and Roanoke. The listings will be forwarded to the National Park Service for nominatino to the National Register of Historic Places.

To view photos and read a summary of each site, use the arrows (top and bottom) to scroll through the slides or select a site from the drop-down menu above.

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Capital Regional Preservation Office (CRPO)

 New June 2013 listings for the Virginia Landmarks Register include historic sites in the counties of Hanover and Prince Edward, which fall under the CRPO district. 

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Ashland UDC Jeffersion Davis Highway Marker, Hanover County

This marker is one of 16 granite memorials in Virginia commissioned and erected along U.S. Route 1 between 1927 and 1947 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a pivotal organization in establishing and promoting the Jefferson Davis Highway nationwide.

The highway, incorporating U.S. 1 in Virginia, commemorated the first and only president of the Confederate States of America with a cross-country route. It also  offered a southerly counterpoint to the Lincoln Highway, the first national auto route, established during the second decade of the 20th century.

A plaque on the Ashland marker states that it was erected by the Lee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).

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Robert Russa Moton Boyhood Home,
Prince Edward County

R. R. Moton's boyhood home is located on a former plantation and farmstead known as Pleasant Shade, about 10 miles east of Farmville. Covering 246 acres today, the property contains a main house and a now-dilapidated kitchen-quarter building where Moton lived as a boy.

One of the most prominent African-American leaders and educators in the U.S. during the first decades of the 20th century, and president of the Tuskegee Institute after the death of Booker T. Washington, Moton (1867-1940) lived at Pleasant Shade from 1869 to 1880. His boyhood there shaped his conservative vision of race relations in America and in the South.

The Pleasant Shade property, with existing portions dating back to 1746, is also important for its direct association with the April 6, 1865, Battle of Sailor’s Creek, the last major Civil War battle in Virginia before Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

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Main Street Banking Historic District, Boundary Increase, Richmond

This boundary increase captures four modern skyscraper buildings constructed between 1962 and 1965 that represent pioneering efforts in this form of modern architectural design in Virginia. They also reflect the evolution of Virginia’s banking industry after commercial legislation was updated in the post-World War II era.

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Northern Regional Preservation Office (NRPO)

June 2013 listings in the Virginia Landmarks Register include historic sites in the counties of Fairfax and Orange and the City of Winchester, all located within the NRPO district.

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Fort Loudoun Site, Winchester

Located on a residential lot in the Winchester Historic District, the Fort Loudoun Site is a half-acre portion of the larger site where a young Colonel George Washington designed and constructed a fort as commander of the Virginia Regiment, in 1758.

Fort Loudoun served as a command center and primary supply depot for Washington and the Virginia troops during the French and Indian (also known as the Seven Years’) War. It was built as the first and most prominent of a string of military forts and outposts erected to protect Virginia’s backcountry settlers from raids made by the French and their Native American allies, beginning as early as 1754.

While never directly attacked, troops at Fort Loudoun were garrisoned there at least until the end of open hostilities in 1763. They also joined British forces during military campaigns between 1758 and 1760.

Residential and road construction has disturbed much of the Fort Loudoun site over the centuries, although limited and intensive archaeological excavations of the site have revealed well-preserved features related to the fort and the activities of the soldiers there. The half-acre portion of the site now listed in the state register and bounded by a private lot in Winchester retains a high level of integrity and contains archaeology revealing a substantial portion of one of the fort’s defensive bastions, a well, and a barracks.

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Hollin Hills Historic District, Fairfax County

The Hollin Hills Historic District encompasses a 326-acre residential development that took shape between 1949 and 1971 under developer-builder Robert Davenport and modern architect and planner Charles Goodman. Hollin Hills drew national and international attention as the first planned subdivision to combine novel landplanning, modern house and landscape designs, and an innovative merchandising plan that required the lots and house models to be sold separately.

Houses were situated on lots so as to accentuate the site’s existing slopes and wooded conditions, giving Goodman an opportunity to design eight modern house types with variations in square footage and interior amenities, comprising 15 different combinations. He created modern designs of standardized modular units with open interiors and trim-less window walls, non-traditional house profiles, and prefabricated components. Hollin Hills reflected Goodman’s conviction that traditional houses like the Colonial Revival-style had no place in a 20th-century development.

By 1971 development of Hollin Hills was complete and its real estate office closed. Today there are 475 houses, buildings, sites, and structures that contribute to the character of the Hollin Hills Historic District.

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Mount Sharon, Orange County

The 77-acre Mount Sharon property features a restrained Georgian Revival-style country house designed by noted 20th-century New York architect Louis Bancel LaFarge. LaFarge’s mastery of Georgian Revival design and proportion is evident in Mount Sharon, as well as his attention to fine craftsmanship and his familiarity with then-modern 1930s building technology and systems, including reinforced concrete-and-steel construction for strength and fireproofing, and central low-pressure steam heating. The property also contains brick gateposts from a previous Mount Sharon house that was begun in 1888, a late-19th century manager’s house, and a small garage and a larger chauffeur’s quarters and garage built in 1937, when the main residence was completed.

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Tidewater Regional Preservation Office

New June 2013 listings in the Virginia Landmarks Register covered by the TRPO are in Surry County and Norfolk.

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Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk

A 50-acre municipal cemetery established in Norfolk County (now the City of Norfolk) in 1853, Elmwood Cemetery contains the remains of more than 400 Confederate and Union Civil War veterans.

Displaying an abundance of 19th-century funerary art, Elmwood was also the burial ground for victims of a yellow fever epidemic that swept through Hampton Roads in 1855, when it is estimated that Norfolk and Portsmouth witnessed more than four thousand deaths from the disease. The epidemic resulted in more than 100 people being interred in individual family plots at Elmwood Cemetery, and many victims being buried in unmarked mass graves, after the supply of coffins ran short in Norfolk.

The cemetery also contains the graves of many city, state and nationally noted figures.

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Walnut Valley, Chippokes State Park, Surry County

Walnut Valley consists of a circa 1770 plantation house, an 1816 slave quarter and an associated archaeological site within a nearly 263-acre property that has remained largely intact since the late-18th century.

A rarity today, its well-constructed slave quarter reflects reforms that led to improved living conditions for some slaves during the first-half of the 19th century. Basic amenities in the cabin were windows, a wood floor, and a masonry chimney—not standard features of earlier slave dwellings in Virginia. Such reforms were motivated by the plantation owners' humanitarian and religious sentiments, and their financial interest in protecting the health of the enslaved.

Along with the main house and slave quarter, Walnut Valley includes many agricultural and domestic outbuildings. The site’s archaeology is contributing to research on the lifeways of enslaved persons on a Tidewater plantation.

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Western Regional Preservation Office

Within the WRPO coverage are two historic districts in Roanoke approved for listing in the Virginia Landmarks Register.

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Melrose-Rugby Historic District, Roanoke

Located northwest of downtown Roanoke, this historic district arose as a working-class neighborhood between 1916 and 1949, as Roanoke grew during the first half of the 20th century.

The Melrose-Rugby Historic District exemplifies traditional residential planning of the era, relying on a narrow street grid and alleyways. Elements of early modern suburban design are also evident in the district’s wide and curving Rugby Avenue, which anticipates the curvilinear subdivision layout that became prevalent after World War II.

The district exhibits a full range of architectural styles and home building popular during this period, with examples of Craftsman bungalows, American Foursquares, and Cape Cod houses.

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Riverland Historic District, Roanoke

In response to Roanoke’s rapid industrial growth during the late 19th and early 20th centuries along the Roanoke River and railroad lines, the Riverland Historic District was developed between 1900 and 1930 by the Highland Land Company as a suburb to provide housing for working-class citizens.

Situated just south of a bend in the Roanoke River, the historic district features a range of popular housing styles from the early 20th century including American Foursquare and Craftsman.