Working first with Rinehart and then with Veloso, developer Ron Willard recreated the forms of tobacco barns that he remembered from his youth into a luxurious recreational complex at Smith Mountain Lake. The main clubhouse, bleached to look like old farm structures, consists of three buildings. Windows, in imitation of barn ventilation slats, encircle the upper walls and the roofs carry ventilation cupolas and a ventilation monitor similar to those that crowned barns. Furthering the farm illusion, the standing-seam copper roofs are coated with lead to give the appearance of tin. A porte-cochere of massive, hand-sawn timbers forms a connecting promenade to the three “barns.” On one side of the clubhouse is a sturdy trellis, an echo of the makeshift trellises attached to barns and covered with leafy branches to keep tobacco from sun rotting before it could be tied up. In the forecourt of the clubhouse complex on the left are two tobacco barn-shaped buildings linked by shed additions and serving as administrative offices. These are balanced on the right by two similar structures that make up the pool house. Water's Edge is the most elaborate of the lake developments, several of which are clustered around golf courses. Many have carefully landscaped and manicured entrances with elaborate gateways, winding roads, and large houses that face the lake and sometimes turn their rear to the road, with a garage as the main visible feature. These developments are suburbia writ large in a very rural setting.
You are here
Water's Edge Clubhouse
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.