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Virginia Landmarks Register

New Listings, March 2013

In March, DHR's two boards (the State Review Board and Board of Historic Resources) convened during a public meeting at the University of Virginia (photo). The boards approved 13 new listings in the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) and also approved forwarding the VLR listings to the National Park Service for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Among the sites listed were Hyde Park (Nottoway Co.), a farm that served as a refuge to Jews escaping Nazi Germany; Garth Newel (Bath Co.), an estate that is home today to a unique educational music center; and historic districts at the heart of five towns scattered from Tidewater to the Cumberland Gap Turnpike in southwest Virginia.

Use the arrows (top and bottom, right and left) to view each of the properties listed, or use the drop-down menu above to select a site.

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Capital Regional Preservation Office (CRPO)

This map shows all the counties covered by CRPO. New March 2013 listings for the Virginia Landmarks Register include historic sites in the counties of Amherst and Nottoway, and the cities of Hopewell and Lynchburg.

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Dulwich Manor, Amherst Co.

Constructed in 1909 as a summer house for Norfolk real estate mogul Herman Lawrence Page, Dulwich Manor is one of the largest and most ornate houses constructed in Amherst County during the first half of the 20th century. The Neoclassical mansion features Flemish bond brickwork with brick quoins, diorite stone window sills and keystones, a steeply-pitched hipped roof covered with slate, and a massive two-story portico supported by Ionic columns. Used for recreation and entertainment by the Page family for more than four decades, the house boasts large and open public spaces on the first floor.

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Downtown Hopewell Historic District, Update & Boundary Increase

The Downtown Hopewell Historic District was expanded to include nine buildings constructed between 1944 and 1960, during the economic boom that followed the end of World War II. It also includes a building constructed in 1928 (top left photo).

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Hyde Park, Nottoway Co.

Hyde Park, a former tobacco plantation dating to the latter 1700s, was purchased in 1938 by Richmond department store owner William B. Thalhimer to create a training farm for Jewish students of the German agricultural Gross Breesen Institute who sought escape from Nazi Germany. At Hyde Park, Thalhimer established Hyde Farmlands, a corporation devoted to dairy and poultry operations. Between 1938 and early 1941, about 30 Jewish immigrants lived and worked there, until the corporation went broke and Thalhimer, then in poor health and personally funding the farm, shut down Hyde Farmlands.

After the U.S. entered World War II, most of the male Gross Breeseners who had resided at Hyde Park enlisted in the U.S. military, eager to gain citizenship and defeat the Nazis. During and after World War II, Hyde Park continued to provide refuge and agricultural opportunities, specifically for families of soldiers from nearby Fort Pickett, and for two Polish refugees who maintained the house and grounds for 30 years.

Hyde Park also is significant for its archaeological sites affiliated with enslaved African Americans who worked the tobacco plantation, the site of a vanished mill that was once part of the plantation, and the many farm buildings constructed by the Jewish refugees. Today the property retains its large main residence, which dates to the late 1700s, with Greek-Revival and Colonial-Revival style wings added in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Rivermont Historic District, Boundary Increase: St. John's Episcopal Church, Lynchburg

Lynchburg's Rivermont Historic District was increased to include the Gothic Revival style St. John’s Episcopal Church, designed by prominent Lynchburg architects Stanhope Johnson, Clarence Henry Hinnant, and Joseph Everette Fauber, Jr. The church property is oriented toward Rivermont Avenue and highly visible along it. St. John’s was constructed in 1911-1912, and expanded most notably in 1926-1928 with a new sanctuary that more than doubled its facilities.

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Northern Regional Preservation Office (NRPO)

This map shows all the counties covered by NRPO. New March 2013 listings in the Virginia Landmarks Register include historic sites in the counties of Bath, Loudoun, and Rappahannock, and the cities of Alexandria and Winchester.

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Arcola Elementary School, Loudoun Co.

Constructed in 1939 as part of New Deal’s Public Works Administration (PWA) building campaign under President Franklin Roosevelt, Arcola Elementary School opened during the era of racial segregation in public education as Loudoun County’s first elementary school for white students that offered individual classrooms for each grade. The multi-room school marked a shift in the county in public education away from one-room schools offering limited curriculums. Arcola school provided space to support an expanded grade-based curriculum.

The fifth PWA project in the county and its only PWA-built school, Arcola is typifies PWA’s Colonial Revival style for school buildings. With its specified classroom proportions, it also reflects PWA’s attention to how design could impact academic behavior. The school was expanded in 1951 and 1956 with additional classroom wings. Today the site retains its original five-acre tract of open space.

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Charles M. Goodman House, Alexandria

This house was the home of noted Washington, D.C.-area architect Charles Morton Goodman, who brought the Modernist aesthetic to middle-class residential American architecture. After he purchased a circa-1870 Victorian-era farmhouse in 1946, Goodman modified and expanded it in the International Style, as characterized by its open floor plan, natural textures and materials, and the blending of inside and outside spaces through the extensive use of glass.

From the 1940s through the 1960s, Goodman designed more than 450 houses in Hollin Hills in Fairfax County and in other Washington suburbs. He also created prefabricated plans for the National Home Corporation that informed 100,000 homes and designed the 1957 Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) Care-Free Home. The Goodman House retains much of its original setting on a wooded suburban lot, and the property also includes a circa-1870s stone-lined well, and 1950s wooden fence and stone walls.

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Hawthorne & Old Town Spring, Winchester

A handsome Late Georgian- to Federal-style residence constructed of stone, Hawthorne was partially built on an 18th-century foundation for city attorney Alfred Harrison Powell. The main block of the house dates to around 1811 and was expanded with a rear wing around 1840. The five-acre property features a circa-1816 springhouse and spring, which from the earliest years helped to define the estate. Known as Old Town Spring, it is a well-documented early municipal water distribution system purchased by the City of Winchester in 1840 and believed to be one of the earliest such operations in Virginia.

In addition to its outstanding architecture and historic springhouse, Hawthorne is important for its association with one of Virginia’s most articulate Civil War-era diarists, Cornelia Peake McDonald. Her diary and recollections offer a significant source for first-hand information about the impact of the war on the Shenandoah Valley’s civilian population, particularly its women.

Prominently situated, Hawthorne overlooks the main western entrance to Winchester, offering a well-preserved image of a fine early-19th century residence, defined by the distinctive Federal-style springhouse at the front of its lot. Other historic resources contributing to the site are a circa 1915 stone garage and a mid-19th century stone wall that was heavily repaired after the Civil War.

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Locust Grove/Luttrell Farmstead, Rappahannock Co.

The Locust Grove-R.E. Luttrell Farmstead dates to about 1815, when the main house was constructed. The farmstead evolved until about 1940, when major construction and alteration ceased on most of the 19-acre site’s contributing agricultural buildings.

Representative of a Virginia Piedmont farmstead, Locust Grove was initially devoted to subsistence farming before it became a horse farm in the 1920s. The main dwelling was constructed as a two-story, five-bay, frame, I-House, clad in weatherboard with massive exterior-end stone and brick chimneys. It was expanded in the mid-19th and early-20th centuries. The interior retains period materials including door and window trim, chair rails, floors, doors and hardware, and has some very unusual mantels, unseen elsewhere in the region. Contributing outbuildings on the property include a tenant house, chickenhouse with an attached lean-to, stallion barn, meat house, and a concrete silo.

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Garth Newell, Bath Co.

The residence of husband and wife artists William Sergeant Kendall and Christine Herter Kendall, Garth Newell was begun in 1923 soon after the couple moved to Virginia. The rural 114-acre property is where the Kendells painted, raised award-winning Arabian horses, and entertained guests in a main house that featured an open floor plan to accommodate the private concerts often hosted there. A distinguished artist, William Sergeant Kendall achieved international recognition as a highly regarded painter in the academic style. After he died in 1938, Christine Herter Kendell, also an accomplished artist as well as an author, musician and patron of the arts, continued to make Garth Newel her home until her death in 1981. As a patron of the arts, in 1973 she co-founded the Garth Newel Music Center, which she bequeathed to the nonprofit at her death, ensuring that Garth Newel would continue as a venue for small concerts.

It is the only residential music center in Virginia that exists strictly for the study and performance of chamber music. In addition to the main house, the property also features a one-story, modern Ranch-style dwelling, designed in 1954 by North Carolina architect James Walter Fitzgibbon, two other secondary dwellings, a riding arena, horse barn and stone landscape features including entrance piers, outdoor fireplace and retaining walls and steps.

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Tidewater Regional Preservation Office

This map shows the counties and cities served by TRPO. New March 2013 listings in the Virginia Landmarks Register are in the counties of Gloucester, Mathews, and Sussex.

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Gloucester Woman's Club, Gloucester Co.

Located on the edge of historic downtown Gloucester, the Gloucester Woman’s Club building showcases nearly 250 years of history that includes its use as a private residence beginning as early as 1770, as a mercantile and retail operation during the first half of the 19th century, as a carriage-manufacturing shop during the latter half, and, under its longest-held function, as the headquarters of today’s civic organization.

Founded in 1913, the Gloucester Woman’s Club—one of the oldest active voluntary civic organizations in Gloucester County—has contributed to enhancing the county’s social life and community through the club’s historic commitment to public programs, education, opportunities for girls and women, and the preservation and interpretation of its historic headquarters as well as other historic sites in the county.

The last major changes to the property took place in the mid-20th century. Since then the Gloucester Woman’s Club has maintained the historic and archaeological integrity of the site’s resources. Collectively they reveal aspects of the county’s early exploration and settlement, commercial and industrial growth (particularly during the 19th century), and the social history of the various families, store owners, merchants, and artisans who owned, lived and/or worked on the property. During that time, the area transformed from a frontier settlement of tobacco plantations to a bustling 21-century village, county seat, and transportation hub.

Although the Gloucester Woman’s Club was listed in the state and national historic registers in the early 1970s, the recent nomination substantially updates and expands information about the site.

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Springdale, Mathews Co.

Exemplifying a unique evolution of architectural style in Mathews County, Springdale preserves two important stages of construction. The earliest portion, originally built by William Respess in the latter 18th century, is a simple but elegant Georgian-style, two-story residence. Around the 1840s, new owner Dr. William Shultice significantly expanded the house with a Federal-style wing that employs a central hyphen to connect the Georgian and Federal portions.

The house is rare among Mathews County buildings for representing the survival of a Georgian-style dwelling with simplified stylistic elements, rather than high-style design, and the thorough adaptation of Federal additions and details to the 18th-century core. It also features prominently in pediment gable a distinctive 1830-1840 lunette window, a local architectural element found in at least five other county buildings 

On an inlet of Put-In Creek, Springdale preserves the central domestic portion of a historic plantation landscape that thrived from about 1774 into the 20th century in Mathews County, where much antebellum wealth and cultural influence derived from maritime trade and shipbuilding.

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Waverly Downtown Historic District, Sussex Co.

The Waverly's downtown arose soon after the town was established in 1854 on the Norfolk and Petersburg (now Norfolk Southern) Railroad. Today, Waverly remains the county’s center of commerce, and the Waverly Downtown Historic District is a well-preserved depot town on the line connecting Norfolk to points west. The district’s earliest building dates from about 1880, but most of its historic buildings were constructed after a 1904 fire destroyed much of the town.

Waverly’s prosperity was associated with the processing and exporting of the region’s agricultural products and exploitation of the region’s timber reserves from the late-19th through the mid-20th centuries. The district’s buildings range from plain warehouses and small stores to large and elaborately detailed Classical Revival structures, in long rows fronting on Main Street. A few residential, civic, and support structures date from the same period. The storefronts of many buildings were altered as business owners responded to the Great Depression and post World-War II trends by making-over older buildings with Art Deco or modern elements.

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Western Regional Preservation Office

This map shows all the counties covered by WRPO. New March 2013 listings in the Virginia Landmarks Register include historic districts in the counties of Giles, Montogemery, Pittsylvania, and Washington.

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Christiansburg Downtown Historic District,
Montgomery Co.

In the New River Valley’s Montgomery County, the Christiansburg Downtown Historic District dates to 1792, when the town was established as a county seat. It was laid out in a courthouse square plan with its two main streets intersecting at the square. The district covers the historic governmental, institutional, and commercial core of the town along with its the courthouse square and associated monuments. Its buildings embody popular architectural forms and styles built between the 1850s and the early 1960s. Common architectural details include parapets, storefronts, and decorative sign panels of the Commercial Style, and less common Art Deco details such as low-relief motifs.

Although the earliest courthouses in Christiansburg no longer stand, the historic monuments and 1937 Work Progress Administration–built Post Office distinguish its town square. The earliest building in the district is the Christiansburg Presbyterian church, completed in 1853.

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Glade Spring Commercial Historic District,
Washington Co.

Glade Spring comprises the core of a 19th-century community oriented toward the railroad. The oldest existing building in the district is a hotel building constructed in 1866. Representative of towns in the Valley of Virginia that arose with the arrival of the railroad, Glade Springs’s role as a local commercial hub and an incorporated town is significant in the economic history of Washington County.

The Glade Spring Historic District retains many of the commercial buildings constructed during the town's heyday, displaying a variety of storefront facades, with some also exhibiting impressive and elaborate masonry techniques. Like many towns once dependent on the railroad, Glade Spring’s economy suffered a decline beginning in the mid-20th century with the advent of improved roads, Interstate highways, and a growing trucking industry that competed with the railroads for shipping freight.

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Gretna Commercial Historic District, Pittsylvania Co.

In Southside Virginia’s Pittsylvania County, the Gretna Commercial Historic District took shape with the arrival of the Lynchburg and Danville Railroad through the area between 1872 and 1874. The railroad swelled a settlement known as Franklin Junction. In 1901, it changed its name to Elba and in 1916 to Gretna.

Gretna’s historic district contains 26 contributing buildings constructed between 1881 and the early 1960s, with many dating to Gretna’s early period of development. Representing historic purpose-built commercial, governmental, and civic organizational buildings, their architecture ranges from the popular Commercial Style to the Colonial Revival style of the former Gretna Fire Station and Town Hall, to a Classical Revival social lodge building, and the Art Deco style of an early-20th century service station.

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Narrows Commercial
Historic District,
Giles Co.

Narrows arose due to its strategic location on the New River and major transportation routes. Originally settled in the late-18th century at a narrow gap in the mountains through which the New River passes, the town developed on the Cumberland Gap Turnpike, which forms the two main streets in the district. The arrival of the Norfolk & Western Railway in 1882, followed by the Virginian Railway in 1907-1909, established Narrows as a major industrial town in the region and the largest town in the county.

With its natural resources and access to shipping, Narrows drew industries such as mills, tan yards, power plants, and rail-related enterprises. Today, many of the Narrows Commercial Historic District’s buildings date to the 1940s and later, after the nearby Celco Plant opened in 1939, spurring Narrows’ growth. Celco globally dominated cellulose acetate production and related products after World War II and through to the latter 20th century, until environmental regulations and foreign competition impacted the its operations.