Department of Historic Resources
For Immediate Release
March 22, 2017
Department of Historic Resources
16 HISTORIC SITES ADDED TO THE VIRGINIA LANDMARKS REGISTER
—New listings cover historic sites in the counties of Chesterfield, Culpeper, Fairfax, Franklin, Giles (2), Lancaster, Loudoun, Roanoke, and Rockingham; and the cities of Alexandria, Harrisonburg, Petersburg, Richmond, Salem, and Williamsburg—
—VLR listings will be forwarded for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places—
A mid-20th century church in Williamsburg associated with the oldest continuously active African American congregation in the United States, a post-World War II planned village in Fairfax County, and two Confederate Civil War memorials are among the 16 sites added to the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) by the Department of Historic Resources this month.
Constructed in 1956, the two-story Colonial Revival-style First Baptist Church in
Williamsburg is nationally important as home to country’s oldest and continuously active black congregation, a religious community that has endured for some 250 years while overcoming religious prejudices and oppression.
Prior to the American Revolution, the nondenominational colonial congregation faced restrictions imposed by the British, which mandated state support for the Anglican Church and limited the religious rights of dissenting denominations to worship and proselytize. The Revolutionary War led to the disestablishment of the Anglican Church and the advent of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786. All the same, throughout the antebellum period First Baptist’s African American congregation endured interference in its church organization as well as imposed oversight of worship practices by white ministers. Church congregants also had to meet special conditions for membership in the Dover Baptist Association that derived from centuries of legislation and custom that severely restricted the rights of free African Americans and protected the institution of slavery.
After the Civil War, the congregation and the clergy promoted general and theological education for African Americans in Williamsburg and surrounding areas, and during Reconstruction in the 1870s the church’s minister was elected to statewide office. During the 1960s the church clergy and congregation also participated in organizations and activities of the Civil Rights Movement.
The First Baptist Church building is one of two known examples of ecclesiastical architecture designed by Bernard Spigel, a prominent Virginia architect. His design deftly interprets the Colonial Revival-style, heavily influenced by the nearby restoration architecture of Colonial Williamsburg.
Fairfax County, the Lake Anne Village Center, constructed between 1963 and 1967, was the first village of the planned community of Reston, and as such is part of the nation’s first zoned planned unit community. The Village Center articulates the seven goals of Reston founder, Robert E. Simon Jr., and illustrates his insistence on an open, pedestrian-friendly, and integrated community prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Lake Anne Village Center’s influences derive from the English Garden City movement, as well as European plazas, and townhouses of the urban areas of the northeastern U.S. The complex, consisting of retail spaces, restaurants, an open court, and residential units, features Brutalist-influenced architecture tempered by its human scale and medieval elements. For its era, the complex presented a shockingly modern design in an area where single-family Colonial Revival homes dominated.
Lake Anne Village Center showcased the new town movement, with social, architectural, and land-use development innovations—elements internationally recognized today for influencing subsequent planned developments in the U.S. and around the world.
Two Confederate memorials—one in Alexandria, another in
Harrisonburg—were individually listed on the historic registers based on criteria for exceptional significance established by Virginia’s Board of Historic Resources and State Review Board, and the National Park Service. Both memorials exhibit qualities that uniquely distinguish each one from other public Confederate memorials in Virginia.
Unlike many mass-produced or stock statues that present soldiers armed or in the midst of battle, the Appomattox Statue in
Alexandria, dedicated in 1889, depicts an unarmed private. His head is downcast, his uniform rumpled, and his expression is pensive as he faces south. The statue was sponsored by the men of the Virginia-based R. E. Lee Camp Confederate Veterans, who wished to erect a monument to their fallen comrades. The statue was not intended to glorify an ideology, but to remember those who sacrificed all.
The work resulted from the collaboration of several masters in their fields. Fredericksburg-based painter John Adams Elder submitted a proposal to the R. E. Lee Camp based on the central figure in his painting “Appomattox.” Sculptor M. Casper Buberl translated Elder’s work into a three-dimensional figure, and the Henry Bonnard Bronze Company of New York cast Buberl’s statue. The granite base of the memorial contains the names of Alexandrians who never returned from war and a quotation of Robert E. Lee.
Harrisonburg’s Turner Ashby Monument, made of stone and surrounded by an iron fence, is the only known Confederate monument in Virginia to commemorate through its placement the site where a Confederate soldier was mortally wounded in battle. The monument is locally significant as well for its association with the “Lost Cause”—a movement that spread across the former Confederacy closely associated with Southern whites, especially women, who sought to preserve in a tangible way the Confederacy’s legacy in a positive light, an effort that continued well into the 20th century. Recognition of southern military leaders became a significant part of the second phase of the “Lost Cause” movement by the late 1800s.
The June 6, 1898, dedication of the Ashby Monument—on the 36th anniversary of the cavalry officer’s death—was among the largest such gatherings in the Shenandoah Valley at the time, with an estimated 5,000 people in attendance. The ceremony opened with a mile-long procession from the Rockingham County courthouse in Harrisonburg to the one-plus acre memorial site.
The modest granite monument, placed at the site of Ashby’s mortal wounding during the Battle of Harrisonburg—which coincided with General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s renowned Valley Campaign between March and June 1862—was paid for by citizens of Rockingham County and Harrisonburg. A local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy spearheaded the drive to support the monument’s creation.
Twelve additional sites, representing the full spectrum of Virginia history, were approved for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register by DHR’s Board of Historic Resources during its quarterly meeting on March 16:
- Today’s Fuqua Farm residence in western Chesterfield County traces back to a late-18th or early-19th century one-room plan dwelling, a common and simple vernacular house form that early emigrants to Virginia typically erected. Possibly in the first half of the 19th century, a second one-room plan house was built next to the earlier dwelling. In the early 20th century, these two buildings were attached and combined under one roof, thereby creating a larger living quarters. The resulting house was slightly enlarged again in the 1930s or 1940s with the enclosure of a porch. Clearly conveying these early house forms in its present-day appearance, Fuqua Farm is locally important in that is offers examples of two one-room plan vernacular houses, along with examples of early-20th century architectural adaptations such as a large front porch.
- Grace Episcopal Church property in Lancaster County’s Town of Kilmarnock features two buildings: a Gothic Revival chapel, which was the original Grace Church, built in 1852, and a larger Colonial Revival-style Grace Episcopal Church, designed by architect Milton Grigg and constructed in 1958 to serve a growing congregation. These two buildings illustrate a century of Episcopal church architecture in Virginia and reflect a burgeoning congregation as well as changes in architectural expression of this parish which has its roots in the Georgian Christ Church (1732-35), one of two original churches in colonial Virginia’s Anglican Christ Church parish. The 19th-century chapel was moved on the property in 1958, and its preservation through relocation contributes to the significance of the church complex as a whole. The property also includes a graveyard dating to 1852 and a 1949 Grace House.
- The Halifax Triangle and Downtown Commercial Historic District consists of two distinct but interrelated areas that tell the story of African American culture, commerce, and experience in
Petersburg from the mid-19th century through the present day. The northern part of the district arose as a thriving downtown commercial district as the city’s growth and prosperity extended northward during the mid-20th century. This area contains high-style Victorian-era commercial and industrial buildings, a Classical Revival church, and a bus station. The southern portion of the district, primarily set along Halifax Street, evolved in the mid-20th century as a prosperous and cohesive, yet segregated African American community complete with businesses, residences, churches, and an open market containing smaller scale Italianate style and vernacular commercial buildings. As race relations remained tense in the second half of the 20th century, coupled with severe economic struggle and subsequent “white flight” throughout Petersburg, the African American neighborhood expanded into the northern portion of the district and combined with the Halifax Street area to become a larger, yet still cohesive commercial district. Today, the district struggles with blight and poverty, but remains as an important center and reminder of the African American heritage of Petersburg. The oldest building in the district is a Greek Revival church built in 1842. Many other buildings in the district are individually listed on the state and national registers including a Moderne-style Trailways Bus Station. The district’s period of significance ends in 1964, when Joseph Owens, a Halifax Triangle resident and business owner, became the first African American elected since Reconstruction to serve on Petersburg’s City Council.
- The Philip Morris Blended Leaf Complex, covering 12 acres, is important in the context of
Richmond’s tobacco history and exemplifies a modern horizontally-arranged production and storage facility, a form typically associated with the evolving built environment of tobacco-related processing during the 20th century. Philip Morris initially developed the complex in 1952 as a tobacco processing facility and quickly expanded by 1959 to meet the explosive demand for ready-rolled, blended leaf cigarettes. The complex was part of an ambitious expansion plan that by 1983 propelled the company to the top position in the industry with the world’s #1-selling cigarette brand (Marlboro). The district’s buildings, utilitarian in function and design, housed innovative mass-production and flavor processing equipment that represented advances in the industry that moved the company ahead of its competitors. Two buildings, the Green Leaf Stemmery (1951-52) and the Blended Leaf Plant (1957-59), along with three other historically contributing buildings within the district—and a Boiler House exhaust stack with the company’s name emblazoned in white-accented bricks—represent Philip Morris’s embrace of the mass production of cigarettes to meet increasing demand, as well as scientific innovations that simultaneously made more efficient use of the tobacco leaf, enhanced delivery of nicotine through tobacco additives, and safeguarded the consistency of its proprietary tobacco blends for products now selling nationwide and internationally. The period of significance for the district spans from 1951 to 1964.
- Located north of the Town of Purcellville in Loudoun County, the Amos Goodin House was constructed around 1810. The house is locally important as an excellent example of the “Loudoun Stuga” (stuga means “cabin”), a local vernacular adaptation of the Swedish Mora Stuga design. The Swedish house form was brought to Loudoun from Pennsylvania by Quakers, Germans, and Scots-Irish who adapted it in settling in the area. In this way, the Amos Goodin House embodies a transitional era of architecture for the region, and exhibits a building style and plan commonly used for a number of years in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Loudoun. The house features centrally placed hall doors in a single room, two fireplaces on each end of the structure, and twister stairs. Its functional architecture showcases the use of fieldstone that is coursed up like drywall, with interstices “pointed up” with lime to keep out the weather. The Loudoun Stuga house form was practical for frontier life and was reproduced with an economy of skill. The Amos Goodin House and secondary buildings on the property reveal the evolution of local, rustic home design, with use of traditional tools and methods of construction.
• Opened to local acclaim in 1933, the Lord Culpeper Hotel in the Town of Culpeper in Culpeper County is a stylish Colonial Revival building. The hotel opened when the business-and-tourism dependent hotel industry began rebounding from the Great Depression with a cautious optimism at the prospect of newly-elected President Roosevelt’s New Deal and the likelihood of Prohibition’s repeal. Unlike Culpeper’s earlier hotels, which catered to rail travelers, the Lord Culpeper appealed to motorists. A project of local business leader Charles Henry Hitt, whose contracting firm likely constructed the building, the hotel was managed and later owned by E. Jackson Eggborn Jr., a onetime Culpeper mayor. The Lord Culpeper Hotel is locally important as a Culpeper hostelry and Depression-era business initiative, and it illustrates the popularity of Colonial Revival hotels built throughout small-town Virginia during the 1920s. In 1939, a two-story rear addition enlarged the original thirty-room three-story building.
- Constructed in 1937-1938, Paul’s Ottobine Mill in Rockingham County is a largely intact water-powered gristmill that illustrates traditional mill construction with such features as chamfered posts, a pivoting millstone crane, and vintage machinery. The two-story gambrel-roofed mill, which stands on the foundation of an earlier mill, was built for Judge John Paul Jr. Records indicate a mill stood at the site as early as 1799, and Paul family ownership dates back to 1840. Today’s mill retains an overshot wheel and metal flume as well as extensive machinery including millstones, belt drives, and elevators. The mill closed in 1954 and is currently being converted to a residence.
- Constructed in 1949, the Colonial Revival-style Blair Apartments is an excellent example of Federal Housing Authority-sponsored garden apartments in
Salem, where just two FHA-funded complexes were built in the post-World War II period between 1945 and 1950. The apartments arose in response to the area’s growing population after World War II, fueled in part by the rise of new and expanding industries in the area. The FHA’s standards for multiple-family housing, promulgated since the latter years of the Great Depression, promoted the use of the garden apartment model from the 1930s through the 1950s to provide affordable rental housing for working-class Americans and returning World War II veterans. As such, the Blair Apartments exemplifies postwar garden apartment design and today retains character-defining features promoted in FHA guidelines, such as landscaped courtyards and green spaces, natural light and air circulation, centralized laundry, and off-street parking. The building also exhibits minimal Colonial Revival attributes of the type commonly used on buildings throughout Virginia from the 1940s through the late 20th century, partly reflecting its construction as a modestly budgeted housing project intended for working class residents.
- The former Railroad Station at Boones Mill—commonly known as the Boones Mill Depot—was erected in 1892 by the short-lived Roanoke and Southern Railway Company (R&S). The depot and other R&S infrastructure was leased to the larger Norfolk & Western Railway (N&W) from soon after its construction until being purchased in entirety by the N&W. A well-known local landmark, owing in part to the historical importance of the railroad in the region, the depot served as a central transportation hub of the Town of Boones Mill and the surrounding
Franklin County area. Local businesses relied heavily on the depot and railroad as the volume of area agricultural and industrial production continued to grow throughout the first half of the 20th century, and the depot served numerous passengers as well. Architecturally, the depot is a well-preserved example of the Railroad Style favored by Southern railroad companies during the period. It closed to passenger service, after 73 years, around 1965, although freight service continued until about 1970, when N&W retired it from use altogether. The depot became property of the Norfolk Southern Railroad (NSR) in 1982 and withstood years of vacancy and neglect. In 2014, NSR offered the depot to the Town of Boones Mill on the condition that the town relocate it. With the aid of federal Transportation Enhancement grant funds and other public and private donations, the depot is undergoing repair and restoration as necessary, and will be used for various civic functions.
- Now a commercial apple orchard and stock farm, Doe Creek Farm, established in 1883, is located on the flanks of Salt Pond Mountain in
Giles County and centers on a Greek Revival farmhouse, built for Samuel Sayers Hoge Sr. and Mollie Price Hoge. The couple’s sons—Samuel Sayers Jr., Joseph Haven Jr., and Dr. Albert Hammond Hoge—expanded an existing focus on apple production in the 1920s, and by the eve of World War II had built the farm’s large apple packing house. Hoge Brothers, the family business’s name, also engaged in sheep and cattle production and built multiple gambrel-roofed stock and hay barns by the early 1950s. Other historic buildings on the property are a large half-dovetailed log smokehouse, a board-and-batten honey house, a scales house, tenant house, and corncrib. An African American cemetery on the property is likely associated with the plantation from which Doe Creek Farm was originally formed.
- The short-lived People’s Bank of Eggleston in Giles County
was constructed by about 1925 and closed in 1932, a victim of the Great Depression. A modest two-story brick building resembling an American Foursquare house, the People’s Bank served as a central holding for the area’s burgeoning businesses, enabling local community members in the small mountain town to access financial services and growth opportunities during the 1920s. The building survives, along with the nearby former Q. M. Pyne Store (listed on the state and national historic registers in 2009), as the only remaining representatives of the once-thriving commercial activity that transpired in the little Appalachian community of Eggleston.
- Covering nearly 18 acres and situated atop a steep hill on the outskirts of
Roanoke County’s Town of Vinton, the William Byrd High School Historic District consists of the main school building, two annexes, several secondary buildings, and an athletic field and parking areas. Built in 1933 to replace several smaller, short-lived high school buildings, William Byrd High School was designed in a Classical Revival-inspired style by Eubank and Caldwell, an architecture firm based in Roanoke. The school served as the only high school in Vinton until it was replaced in 1970 by a new high school of the same name, located just outside of town. The original school was a gathering place for significant local events and a focal point for the entire community for several decades. It also played a role in the desegregation of local schools. During its last four years of service, one grade per year was integrated before the high school closed in 1969, to be replaced by the current William Byrd High School, which opened to serve the larger fully-integrated school system. The William Byrd High School Historic District is a prominent local example as well of the process of school consolidation that occurred during the first half of the 20th century, when public education moved out of small schoolhouses to large, centralized schools with amenities such as laboratories, libraries, cafeterias, and outdoor recreational space.
Complete nomination forms and photographs for each of these sites can be accessed on the DHR website at
The new VLRs will be forwarded to the National Park Service for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
Listing a property in the state or national registers is honorific and sets no restrictions on what a property owner may do with his or her property. The designation is, first and foremost, an invitation to learn about and experience authentic and significant places in Virginia’s history.
Designating a property to the state or national registers—either individually or as a contributing building in a historic district—provides an owner the opportunity to pursue historic rehabilitation tax credit improvements to the building. Tax credit projects must comply with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The tax credit program is voluntary and not a requirement when owners work on their listed properties.
Virginia is a national leader among states in listing historic sites and districts in the National Register of Historic Places. The state is also a national leader for the number of federal tax credit rehabilitation projects proposed and completed each year.
Together the register and tax credit rehabilitation programs play significant roles in promoting Virginia’s heritage and the preservation of the Commonwealth’s historic places and in spurring economic revitalization and tourism in many towns and communities.
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