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Herndon Historic District

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VA 657 at VA 606
  • (Richard Guy Wilson)

Now overrun by intense development and automobile traffic, the center of Herndon tries to maintain its earlier farming community atmosphere. Virginia 657 and 606 (Centerville Road, then Elden Street, and then Washington Street) bisect the center of town.

Herndon traces its development to the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad, which passed through in the mid-nineteenth century. At the center are the Herndon Depot (1857) and the town green. The depot is one of the earliest surviving Virginia board-and-batten stations; well maintained, it now serves as the Herndon Historical Society Museum and other offices. Around the depot grew up a commercial and residential core that still contains some buildings of interest. Across is the Town Hall (1939; 730 Elden Street), an unassuming Colonial Revival brick structure that originally housed the post office on the first floor. Adjacent is the recent Herndon Municipal Center (master plan, 1993–1995, Cooper-Lecky), a group of buildings clustered around an extension to the town green. Underneath the complex and town green is a parking garage reached from the glazed gazebo on the south side. The site was a brownfield, or polluted tract of land, reclaimed for the new municipal use. The Herndon Council Chambers (1993–1995, Cooper-Lecky) is one of the region's finer examples of postmodern civicimage design, exemplified by the abstraction of historical forms in the overall massing and the cylindrical cupola. Across this new town green is Herndon Fortnightly Library (1996, Hughes Group) with a prominent copper-sheeted dome. The exposed steel trusswork on the interior is especially worth notice. More buildings are envisioned for the municipal center. The Paul Brothers automotive dealership (c. 1920; 770 Elden Street), is a nice surviving example of a stepped concrete commercial structure. A Sears, Roebuck bungalow with elaborate brackets (c. 1913; 652 Jefferson Street) is one of the finest examples of the Craftsman style in northern Virginia.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Herndon Historic District", [Herndon, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 59-60.

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