For most Virginians the legacy of their Commonwealth, or, as it is nicknamed, the Old Dominion, is not simply local, but of paramount national significance. As an editorial cartoon from a 1939 number of the Richmond News Leader graphically asserted, the United States, as we traditionally conceive of it, began in Virginia when the English founded Jamestown in 1607. Sir Walter Raleigh named the colony for Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, and the name implies the promise the early settlers saw. At the very beginning, Captain John Smith proclaimed Virginia a “country that may have the prerogative over the most pleasant places of Europe, Asia, Africa, or America.… Here are mountains, hills, plains, valleys, rivers and brooks all running most pleasantly into a fair bay compassed, but for the mouth, with fruitful and delightsome land.” 1
The home of many of the founding fathers and early political leaders of the nation, Virginia was also the center of the Confederacy, and on its soil were fought some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. It has been the home of national heroes and heroines, from Pocahontas and George Washington to Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Arthur Ashe. Until 1820 Virginia, as both colony and state, led the country in population. Richmond, the state capital from 1779 onward, conceived of itself as the first city of the South, and until the 1890s, when other regional cities surpassed it in population and manufacturing, it was the leading southern metropolis in finance, production of goods, and, many would claim, sophistication. Norfolk and the Tidewater cities were early commercial and shipping centers for the new country. Agriculturally, Virginia was and remains a major producer of livestock, corn, peanuts, and “green gold,” as Captain Smith called tobacco. From the 1930s onward a new aspect of Virginia's legacy opened as the northern part of the state closest to Washington, D.C., became the locus for military bases, the Pentagon, massive suburbanization, and “Edge City.”
Artistically and culturally, Virginia's greatest legacy is its architecture. Far more than through painting, literature, or any other traditional art form, it is through built form that Virginia has been known and has influenced the nation. George Washington's Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello easily rank as two of the most famous historic houses in the United States and among the most visited. Colonial Williamsburg is the touchstone for understanding eighteenth-century life in this country as well as the paramount example of restoration on a large scale. Most Americans know of it even if they have not visited it. Virginia's prototypical houses—the large red brick, white-trimmed manorial house and the small, one-and-one-half-story clapboard cottage—and architectural details such as the spindly posts of Mount Vernon's portico can be found all across the United States. Scarcely an American city lacks evidence of the Virginia heritage. Over the last century the study and preservation of Virginia's early architecture has been the state's most important contribution to the nation.
But the built environment of Virginia is far more than grand houses or restored colonial villages. It is, beginning with Jamestown in 1607, the nearly four-centuries-old accumulation of the traditional perspective of most American history. Eastern Virginia has been molded almost constantly by the hand of man for thousands of years—and much more intensely in the past four hundred. Scarcely a place, from cleared fields, now so overgrown that they appear natural, to the coastal area, has not been altered in some artificial manner. Before the English settled here, Native Americans tended and shaped the land and constructed buildings and villages, although very little remains of their culture. Moreover, many European-built buildings have also disappeared, leaving faint trace.
Nevertheless, the remaining built legacy of Virginia is vast, and, from a broad architectural point of view, every constructed element and every alteration or artificial mark on the landscape contains some level of significance and can be interpreted. Of course not everything can be included here. The purpose of a guide such as this, and of architectural history, is to select: to choose those buildings, cities, towns, and landscapes that tell both representative and unique stories.
Virginia contains an embarrassment of riches, from its well-known and high-profile buildings to its hidden treasures. Traditionally, most attention has focused on the colonial and the antebellum periods. There is an old saying: “In Virginia, history stops in 1826” (or 1840, or 1860). The date depends on who is talking, but the fact remains that the past is very present in Virginia, and especially in its historic architecture and the mania for reproducing it. However, in recent years interest in later architecture—for instance, Victorian and even early modern—has risen.
The amount of published material on Virginia architecture would make even the most compulsive bibliophile quake. More has probably been written about its buildings than those of any other state. Earlier than any other state, Virginia had a statewide historic preservation organization, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA, founded 1889); its efforts, along with others, have staved off the destruction of some important elements of the past. Still, too much has been lost. The program in architectural history at the University of Virginia, established in 1958, was the first in the nation.
In 1965 the commonwealth's General Assembly began to consider what role the state should have in the preservation of the past. Its examination led in 1966—well before such measures in most other states—to the establishment of the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission, now the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. By 2001 the Historic Resources staff had placed on either the Virginia Register or the National Register of Historic Places more than 2,100 buildings and places and more than 230 historic districts. It is estimated that more than 50,000 resources (buildings, landscapes, sites) are included. The staff maintains files on approximately 100,000 properties. A compilation of this listing, The Virginia Landmarks Register, is in its fourth edition (1999). Several cities, such as Richmond, Leesburg, and Alexandria, have architectural historians on their planning staffs. Virginia is probably the only state that has had two exhibitions devoted to architectural drawings of its buildings, the first in 1969 and another in 1992, and a guidebook to its architecture published as early as 1968. 2All of these activities and publications and the many more noted later in this introduction and in the bibliography indicate the tremendous richness—and the problem of selection (see Guide for Users of This Volume, preceding this introduction).
The Contours of Eastern Virginia's Built Environment
During the colonial period and until 1784, Virginia claimed lands that stretched to the Mississippi River; indeed, it was the largest of the original thirteen states. Until 1863, the area that is now the state of West Virginia was part of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This volume covers the eastern portion of present-day Virginia, defined as the area that lies between the Atlantic and the Blue Ridge Mountains. A companion volume will cover the western portion. 3Eastern Virginia comprises three distinct geographical regions: at the east, the Eastern Shore and the Tidewater; to the west, the Piedmont; and, at the western edge, the Blue Ridge. At the eastern edge of the state, hanging down as a guillotine blade ready to shut the mouth of the Chesapeake, is the Eastern Shore, a large peninsula of land physically connected to Maryland, not Virginia. Topographically flat and hauntingly beautiful, it is dominated by agriculture and fishing. The vast region of the Tidewater incorporates both Atlantic seacoast and Chesapeake bayfront. The Tidewater is dominated by major rivers: the Potomac at the north, the Rappahannock and the York in the middle, and the James and a series of smaller estuaries—such as the Nansemond, the Elizabeth, the North Landing, and the manmade Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway at the southern edge—which create a series of large, almost flat peninsulas. Major cities—Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, and Virginia Beach—are located at critical junctures of land and water. Suburban fallout has spread adjacent to the cities and the water, whereas the remainder of the Tidewater is rural, open fields for crops, woodland, and small towns or villages. The boundary of the Tidewater at the west is an axis running almost straight north from Richmond to Washington, D.C. (95 miles and almost directly paralleled by I-95), known as the fall line, in reference to the small falls that occur as rivers flow out of the Piedmont onto the lower coastal, or Tidewater, plain. Traditionally (though not really), the fall line has marked the limits of navigation. Along the line from south to north are the major cities of Richmond, on the James River; Fredericksburg, on the Rappahannock River; and Alexandria, on the Potomac across from Washington, D.C. The Piedmont, which stretches to the west, grows in its uneven topography and crescendoes with the dramatic uplift of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the far edge. It is cut not only by the rivers noted above, but by smaller, though also navigable, rivers such as the Rapidan and the Rivanna. The Piedmont is largely agricultural, though with a growing light industrial and technological base. Along the western edge and skirting the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains are the population centers of Charlottesville in the south and, progressing north, Culpeper, Warrenton, and Leesburg. It is 165 miles from the western edge of the Piedmont at Charlottesville to the eastern edge of the Tidewater at Virginia Beach, and 100 miles from Charlottesville at the south to the northern edge in Loudoun County—a distance enhanced before railroads by the lack of north-south rivers.
These geographical distinctions and distances divide eastern Virginia into four very different parts, almost separate entities: the Tidewater, the Eastern Shore, the Piedmont, and northern Virginia. An additional division is the usual disjuncture between large metropolitan and rural areas. Eastern Virginia also represents many different settlement types: large metropolitan cities of about 200,000, such as Richmond and Norfolk; medium-sized cities (with populations of around 50,000), such as Charlottesville and Suffolk; smaller regional cities (under 25,000 in population), such as Warrenton, Leesburg, and Fredericksburg; increasingly vast suburban areas (such as those in northern Virginia, Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, and around Richmond and Fredericksburg); small rural towns (under 10,000), such as Orange and Heathsville; and large agricultural areas.
Landscape both influences and reflects settlement patterns. The initial settlements of the seventeenth century followed the shoreline. Although many came to make their lives in Virginia permanently, the paramount objective was to extract as much as possible from the land as quickly as possible. Religion played a central role in the establishment of other colonies, such as Massachusetts Bay and Pennsylvania; in contrast, Virginians pursued money and commercial return on investment. The search for precious minerals gave way to agricultural exploitation and the formation of large landholdings, or plantations. Tobacco, which by 1650 had become the dominant crop, rapidly depleted the soil; the result was constant expansion to new land.
Towns were established at Jamestown and other places, such as Flowerdew Hundred, but the primary mode of settlement was isolated houses and accompanying farm buildings along the major waterways, or a short distance inland but with access to water transportation. Thomas Jefferson observed in his Notes on the State of Virginia (1786) that the colony “being much intersected with navigable waters, and trade brought to our doors … has probably been one of the causes why we have no towns of any consequence.” 4Until the midnineteenth century waterways remained the primary transportation routes for agriculture, timber, goods, and people. Hence, all the major settlements were on navigable rivers, or those that could be made accessible through locks and canals. Starting in the late eighteenth century, canals became an alternative to river transportation. They could provide a way to bypass falls, as did the Patowmack Canal at Great Falls in Fairfax County and the Rappahannock Navigation Company in Spotsylvania County. George Washington envisioned the future of Virginia as linked to long-distance canals. In the 1830s the Virginia legislature created the James River Company, which attempted to link the James and Kanawha rivers and the Ohio Valley by a canal over the Allegheny Mountains. Roads and turnpikes tended to follow the east-west direction of the major rivers; north-south routes entailed fords and bridges. In 1801, when Thomas Jefferson journeyed north from Charlottesville to Washington, D.C., to take office as president, he spent four days on horseback; today the same journey takes two hours by car (if there are no traffic jams). Railroads supplanted canals beginning in the 1840s and increasingly took over river traffic in the post–Civil War period. They also began to link, though not necessarily unite, the state from the south to the north.
Railroads still cross the state carrying heavy goods, but in the twentieth century the motorized vehicle has become the major means of personal transportation, and highways open areas heretofore inaccessible. Now one can live in the suburbs of Loudoun County and commute daily more than sixty miles into Washington. Thus in the late twentieth century a new, sprawling form of dense suburbanization developed throughout many portions of the state. Whereas initial settlement clustered on or near navigable rivers or bays, now suburbs, or edge cities composed of housing developments, malls, and office parks, are located on or near rivers of vehicles. At the same time, agriculture is still a major sector of the state's economy, and the early rural way of life, with its dispersed settlements and accompanying mindset, continues. Most observers agree that politically the state tilts toward agricultural interests, that rural counties and their representatives hold inordinate power compared with their urban counterparts. The county is still in most areas the primary political unit. Many buildings are known by location in a county rather than a town or a city. The myth of country living, even though it may be in a subdivision, still exerts a strong pull on the minds of Virginians.
Native American Habitation
When the English stepped ashore in 1607, they found a native culture with its own settlement patterns and buildings that had shaped the landscape in distinctive ways. Virginia was populated by tribes that included the Pamunkey, Mattaponi, Chickahominy, Powhatan, Iroquois, and Susquehannock; but almost all of this native culture has disappeared. The ancestors of the seventeenth-century Native Americans had been here for at least 10,000 years, and one of the earliest Paleo-Indian sites in the Western Hemisphere is located in Warren County in western Virginia. The buildings of the Native Americans recorded in European prints and other documents show light, wood-frame structures, earth fast (with the poles or framing secured directly in the ground), covered with mud, bark, woven mats, or hides, and shaped something like a beehive. Settlements were organized in a hierarchy, and apparently some were defended by timber palisades. The Native Americans farmed fields, hunted, and maintained the landscape. The trails became the foundations for later roads and turnpikes. Although the earliest colonists, such as Captain John Smith, had some interest in the natives and attempted to describe and depict them, and the story of the earliest American heroine, Pocahontas, results from this interaction, most of the colonists saw them only as impediments to exploitation of the land and decimated them. Apart from the odd visitor's chronicle, the Native Americans did not become objects of interest until nearly 180 years later, when Thomas Jefferson began a small archaeological excavation on the Rivanna River in Albemarle County. The state designated two Indian reservations, for the Pamunkey and Mattaponi in King William County, on the Middle Peninsula.
Early Settlement (1607–c. 1720)
Virginia building, like all American building, is a combination of many factors that may include outside influences (whether imported traditions, designers, or pattern books), local environmental conditions and available materials, the builder's competence and tradition, and a response to need. What remains of seventeenth-century building is very fragmentary and contested as to its authenticity and interpretation. When Virginia was a frontier, practicality and urgency dictated any type of rude structure; the consequence was—and would be for centuries—a tradition of fulfilling immediate needs with little sense of permanence. The impermanent architecture that resulted may have been influenced by the Native American post-hole building construction, although this method was also known in England. One difference from construction in England was Virginia's plenitude of timber, which allowed utilization and exploitation of wood on a scale unknown back home. Archaeological investigations at Jamestown and other early sites show a tremendous variety of construction techniques: wooden earth-fast posts, wooden block and sills, or brick foundations, on which an upper frame would be erected and then covered with a stucco type of wattle and daub, tar over straw, or some type of wood sheathing aligned either vertically or horizontally. Roofs could be wood, straw, or, less frequently, tile. Most of the population lived in one-room dwellings that lacked wood floors, plaster walls, or window glass; and earth-fast frame walls required frequent shoring up to survive a decade or two. This level of housing would continue through the eighteenth and well into the nineteenth century—and in some places into the twentieth. Life for a sizable group of people was, by twenty-first-century middle-class standards, not very pretty.
Brick did come into use very early, for both foundations and chimneys (though wooden chimneys existed into the early nineteenth century). Its use for an entire structure was much less common and indicated a building of importance or an occupant of wealth. Most of the initial building was for dwellings, and the plans initially followed those of the farmhouses of southwestern England, from which most of the early settlers came: either a one-room structure with a large end chimney or two rooms with a large central chimney. By the second half of the seventeenth century the central chimney had moved to an outer wall, and some of the cooking may have been done in outbuildings, leaving a two-room house, named the hall-parlor (or hall-chamber), in which most activities took place. Given sufficient height, loft space could be created above. Bacon's Castle in Surry County is the best surviving example of this type.
Brick was occasionally used in Jamestown before 1650, but on plantations most of the houses were the post-hole type. No wooden houses from the seventeenth century survive in Virginia, and most historians have focused on the small number of brick buildings, such as Bacon's Castle, or, more contentious in date, the Adam Thoroughgood House in Virginia Beach. These are upscale dwellings, sometimes called “gentry houses,” indicating the elite status of their occupants. Bacon's Castle, with its stepped and curving end gables and clustered chimney stacks, shows an awareness of high-style English buildings. The Thoroughgood House is more middle class, a typical hall-parlor house. Pear Valley, in Northampton County, on the Eastern Shore, although probably built early in the eighteenth century, is an excellent example of a wood-frame single-chamber house, once widespread in the Tidewater region.
In the boom economy of seventeenth-century Virginia, the population, which had been about 2,200 in 1620, surpassed 8,000 by 1640 and stood near 40,000 in 1680. Initially, the crown granted large tracts of land to favored courtiers, a practice that frequently caused conflicts with other Virginians. The large proprietary tracts, such as that of Thomas, Lord Culpeper, whose grant included much of the Northern Neck, remained in descendants' hands until the General Assembly abolished the inheritance of proprietorships in 1786. Tremendous profits were to be made from land speculation and especially from “green gold.” John Rolfe, who married Pocahontas, brought tobacco seeds from Trinidad in either 1610 or 1611. This “pernicious weed” flourished in the soil of the Virginia peninsulas, and tobacco exports soared, from 20,000 pounds in 1619 to 60,000 pounds in 1622 and 1.5 million pounds by 1629. A pattern of economic disparity, of extremes of wealth and poverty, grew up. William Fitzhugh of Stafford County built a “very good” wood-frame residence c. 1680, and at his death owned 122 pieces of English silver. His house, which does not survive, was constructed on brick foundations and could be built only because he hired in London, as indentured servants, a bricklayer and a carpenter. Even larger was the house of a governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, Green Spring, built near Jamestown. It survives in two drawings, made in 1683 and 1798. Sometimes called a “long house” because of its stretchedout form, and mammoth by Virginia standards, it was begun c. 1643 and then enlarged several times. Constructed on brick foundations with wooden framing, houses such as this underwent constant enlargement, which becomes a Virginia trait, as did the prominent entrance portico. Status in Virginia—as almost everywhere—came to be defined by size and by references—pedimented entry, clustered chimneys—to earlier elite buildings. The large porch—elevated at Green Spring—is an early instance of what became an identifying American feature.
The dispersed nature of Virginia settlement meant that only a few institutional buildings were constructed during the early period, and even fewer survive. Again, the post-hole, earthfast type of impermanent construction was used. An act passed by the House of Burgesses in 1667 empowered the county courts (established in 1634 when eight shires, or counties, were created) to condemn “two acres of land and noe more for erecting churches and or courthouses.” 5The official religion was Anglican, and it was state-supported by taxes until disestablishment in 1786. St. Luke's Church, Isle of Wight County, is justly famous as the earliest survivor of Virginia's Anglican churches, though the exact date of certain elements of its fabric, such as the pediment on the tower and the crow-stepped gables, remains contentious.
The others, which might be called semi-survivors, are the reconstructions at Williamsburg of the College of William and Mary and the Capitol, or Statehouse. The design of the original building of 1695–1700 for the College of William and Mary (founded to train Anglican ministers) came from London and may have been the product—as tradition has always claimed—of Sir Christopher Wren's Office of Works. Accompanying the plans were a “surveyor” (or construction manager), three English bricklayers, and other “workmen [from] England.” 6The building burned in 1705, and the second building—on which the present reconstruction by Thomas Tileston Waterman and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation architectural staff is based—was smaller and its proportions were more pinched, as seen in the squeezed entry pavilion. It was undoubtedly designed as a square building with an interior courtyard, but only half was constructed, leaving exposed a rear arcade, called a piazza, which significantly influenced later educational buildings (for example, the University of Virginia) and early courthouses.
Williamsburg became the capital of the colony in 1699 while the college building was underway. Jamestown had proven to be subject to floods, the site was unhealthy, and the Statehouse—the second one—had burned. The governor of the colony, Sir Francis Nicholson, formerly of Maryland, moved the seat of government, and, as one of his contemporaries described him, he “flatter'd himself with the fond Imagination, of being the Founder of a new City. He mark's out the Streets in many Places, so as they might represent the Figure of a W, in Memory of his late Majesty King William.… There he provid'e a stately Fabrick to be erected, which he placed opposite to the College, and graced it with the magnificent Name of the Capitol.” But only a few years later, Governor Spotswood altered “the streets of the Town … from the fanciful Forms of Ws. and Ms. to much more Conveniences.” 7Virginia's other towns had been planned before Williamsburg, and, although some of the earliest descriptions of Jamestown indicate a random disposition of elements, order and hierarchy existed. The ciphers of Nicholson's plan obscure the real importance of Williamsburg's layout, which was a grid dominated by a central main street—Duke of Gloucester Street—six poles (99 feet) wide, with areas set aside for major public structures such as the courthouse, the church, and the market. Not every town had these elements, and many were laid out on paper and remained unbuilt, but in Williamsburg's grid can be seen the form of most later Virginia towns.
The story and reconstruction of the Capitol (first built c. 1701–1705) and that of the Governor's Palace are explained in the Hampton Roads section of this volume. In a 1724 account of his travels, the Reverend Hugh Jones claimed that they—and the college—were “exceeded by few of their kind.” Jones went on to describe Virginians: “They live in the same neat manner, dress after the same modes, and behave themselves exactly as the gentry in London.… The habits, life, customs, computations &c of the Virginians are much the same as about London, which they esteem their home.” 8
Eighteenth-Century Change (c. 1720–c. 1780)
The selection of a date such as 1720 to begin or end a period in architecture is for the most part arbitrary. Nothing completely stops or starts; instead, older forms, such as the singleroom or the two-room hall-parlor plan, continue, and the roots of what appears as a new development usually go back long before. Traditionally, historians have asserted that around 1700, or 1720, or 1740, a change occurred, and Virginians adopted a new architectural idiom that is often labeled as Georgian, originally a political and dynastic term referring to the reigns of the four Georges. The Georgian era in England, which extended from 1714 to 1830, in fact encompassed styles that ranged from classical forms derived from Italy and France to experiments with the revival of Gothic. Idioms such as late Baroque, Rococo, neoclassical, and Adamesque all belong to English Georgian. Wealthy Virginians, as Hugh Jones remarked and as Rhys Isaac has pointed out in his seminal book The Transformation of Virginia, 1740–1790 (1982), did attempt to emulate Londoners and English gentry through the importation of material goods and the imitation of English manners, furniture, and architecture. However, the buildings produced in Virginia, although derived from such English models as the smaller gentry houses of Sussex, were, in the end, thoroughly American in plan, materials, and usage. 9Changes in English architectural fashions were reflected in Virginia, sometimes directly, as in the intricate woodwork at Gunston Hall, Fairfax County, and at other times more remotely, as at Mount Vernon.
The change that occurred can be called a classical revolution, and—although already apparent in the Governor's Palace at Williamsburg and, in a lesser way, at the Capitol and the College of William and Mary—it had arrived by 1720. But after that date it became more apparent, not just in the mini-metropolis of Williamsburg but in the countryside. The most dramatic change was at the elite level of wealthy landowners' plantation houses and of institutional buildings, in which more classical elements appeared in overall form (for instance, symmetry) and in details (for instance, correct orders.) This classicism slowly worked its way down to the growing middle class and its housing.
The shift in aesthetics had several sources. Primary, of course, was increasing wealth, not only of the elite, but also of the growing “middling” class of farmers, merchants, and those of other occupations who also profited from a boom economy. They all sought to emulate London and partake in a consumer society. An accompanying cause was the expansion of publishing and the new availability of pattern books. Classicism is essentially a “language” based upon books, written rules, patterns, and forms that can be transmitted on the printed page. William Byrd brought from London in 1729 a copy of Colen Campbell's important tome, Vitruvius Britannicus (1715), which played a role in the design of Byrd's son's house, Westover, Charles City County. It is probable, though undocumented, that either Langdon Carter or a builder had a copy of Sebastiano Serlio's L'Architettura (Venice, 1600; London, 1611), or that plates or drawings derived from it were a source for the doorways of Sabine Hall; and similarly that either John Tayloe II or a person in his employ owned a copy of James Gibbs's popular Book of Architecture (1728), from which Tayloe's house, Mount Airy, was derived. Architecture books were plentiful enough so that the young Thomas Jefferson purchased a treatise on classical architecture from a cabinetmaker near the college gates in Williamsburg about 1762 while he was a student. In time Jefferson would amass the greatest collection of architecture books in the young country.
Another source of the change was growth in population and the corresponding increase in the number of skilled artisans and workers, slave and free, who could carry out substantial building projects. It is too little recognized that the building profession in all its variety of activities was one of the major occupations in pre- and post-Revolutionary Virginia. The importation of skilled craftsmen, either as freedmen or as indentured servants, which had begun in the seventeenth century, continued and became more common, bringing individuals such as William Buckland. This expertise made possible grandiloquent and ill-fated building projects such as Rosewell, or the more modest houses of tradesmen, such as Benjamin Powell and James Geddy, Jr., in Williamsburg. Virginia brickwork is justly renowned for its skill and became one of the standard images by which the state's architecture is known; however, only a few could afford it. Much more common were wooden houses, frequently plain on the exterior, but on the interior fitted with superb joinery drawn from a combination of pattern books, as at Tuckahoe Plantation, Goochland County. The question of who actually designed these buildings is contentious, and in spite of the determination of an earlier generation of scholars to assign them to one mastermind, the present consensus is that the design of houses and other buildings came from the interaction of the patron and the builders and a mixture of precedent, local conditions, and usage.
Slavery and the importation of Africans began in 1619 and grew. Slave labor took the place of indentured and independent white laborers. Africans and their descendants made up 9 percent of the population in 1700, 25 percent by 1715, and 40 percent by 1750. The flowering of Virginia in the eighteenth century was based upon black slave labor. Most Africans were agricultural workers, but some worked on construction projects and learned the skills of artisans. Slavery led to changes in the built environment, such as slave housing on plantations and the creation of small slave communities. It also led to a shift in room usage and increased subdivision of interior spaces in houses related to desire for privacy and to new models of decorum and behavior, but also intended to shield the owner from the presence of house servants.
Institutional buildings changed dramatically, at least from the evidence of those that have survived. More than fifty churches from the pre-Revolutionary period survive in Virginia, all Anglican originally and now mostly Episcopalian, though a few have changed denominations. Many are modest, but all are of brick, and the most opulent, such as Christ Church, Lancaster County, evidence the power and wealth of a primary patron (in the case of Christ Church, Robert “King” Carter). In churches such as this, and many others that have been altered, the local gentry would express their status by having their family pews raised higher than those of the lesser members of the congregation.
Eleven courthouses also survive—with the aid of restoration—from the pre-Revolutionary period. Originally most of them (except James County Courthouse in Williamsburg) stood in isolated settings—as did churches—located for convenience in the center of the county, often at a crossroads. In time a jail, a clerk's office, and other auxiliary structures would be added, and perhaps a tavern (necessary for court days). Some of these courthouses were modest rectangular structures (Essex, Northampton, and Middlesex), but the quintessential Virginia courthouse had an arcaded front, like that of the Old Isle of Wight County Courthouse in Smithfield. The origins of the arcade, sometimes locally called a piazza, may have been the Wren Building of the College of William and Mary and the Capitol in Williamsburg and, going back farther, town and market halls in London. The arcaded front became an identifying feature of Virginia in the twentieth century; the Virginia Department of Transportation even uses it for rest area facilities on major highways. The attempt at a temple front with the James City Courthouse, 1770, in Williamsburg, and its cupola indicate the beginning of a tradition that became national after the Revolution.
To think of Virginia as urban in this period would be incorrect; it was rural. A minor building boom in Williamsburg after the fire of 1747 that destroyed the Capitol resulted in some growth, and on the eve of the Revolution in 1775 its population stood at 1,880, of which 52 percent were black. Land speculation and the need for more ports or shipment points led to the laying out of Fredericksburg (1728), Richmond (1737), and Alexandria (1749); but they remained small, as did the Piedmont villages of Leesburg (1758) and Charlottesville (1762).
Nineteenth-Century Prosperity (c. 1780–c. 1840)
After the Revolution Virginia experienced tremendous prosperity, and, although business declined periodically, until around 1840 the state stood at the peak of its economic and political power. Its status was apparent in the decision to locate the national capital, Washington, D.C., on the Potomac and in the fact that seven of the first twelve presidents were Virginians. Settlement spread west, up through the Piedmont and beyond, and modest commercial cities developed. But about 1840, Virginia's position as the first among equals began to recede. Its soil was increasingly worn out, and although alternatives were sought by some enterprising businessmen, such as those involved in the establishment of the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, an increasingly defensive mentality ruled.
Richmond became the capital of Virginia in 1779 at the instigation of Thomas Jefferson, and the focus of power shifted. Williamsburg, which was Virginia's only real urban center, began to fade away, not to regain importance until the 1930s, as a museum. Other cities—Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Norfolk, and Portsmouth—emerged as major trading centers, and the smaller Piedmont towns gained slowly in size. Virginia's ethos remained in the countryside, in the Jeffersonian ideal of the farmer and the landed gentry as the bedrock of the new nation, but a new and very different environment developed.
The so-called Federal era in Virginia, c. 1780–1810, was typified by a “great rebuilding,” common along much of the East Coast, as members of the newly risen middle class either extensively remodeled their houses or built completely new ones. Not just an architectural stylistic change, this rebuilding was accompanied by changes in manners, activities, and possessions. In Virginia—and elsewhere—a number of forms developed, but the most popular type was in many places the so-called I-house, a fusion of earlier vernacular and high styles into a dwelling with a single-pile plan for the front part—a central hall and a room to each side—two stories in height, and a wing, or ell, to the rear. Constructed of wood or brick, the I-house could have, depending on the wealth and hubris of the owner, various degrees of ornamentation as well as size. The ornament and trim of these houses increasingly came from American pattern books, such as Asher Benjamin's and Minard Lafever's various publications, which were the most popular among Virginians. The I-house was a staple of the Virginia building economy well into the twentieth century. Houses built during the Federal period vastly outnumber everything built before the late eighteenth century, indicating the new prosperity. At a lesser scale was a one-story variant of the I-house with a main-floor plan of central hall and a room to either side, bedrooms or chambers under the sloping roof, and an ell to the rear. Along with new building, a change took place in modest older houses, in single-room shacks and hall-parlor houses, which received new furnishings and frequently subdivision of interior spaces. In Virginia some of this interior subdivision, as with the shift in room usage during the earlier part of the eighteenth century, was related to new concepts of privacy and etiquette and an attempt to create visual barriers and keep slaves from view.
In cities and towns a variety of house types developed. Although freestanding I-houses were common, the row house type, three bays wide, with an entrance-side passage and room across the front, was becoming the norm in Virginia and can still be found from Norfolk to Charlottesville. Size and materials depended on the owner's wealth. Frequently, the owner's workshop or store would occupy the ground floor. Surviving commercial structures are rare: a few late eighteenth-century warehouses along King Street in Alexandria; Hugh Mercer's apothecary shop (1780), Fredericksburg; and the restored and reconstructed buildings along Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg.
Another major change in the Virginia landscape was the appearance, often in isolated locations, of a new church type, along with new denominations. The Anglican church, which became the Episcopal church after the Revolution, was disestablished in 1786, and glebe lands—which had helped support the Anglican clergy—were sold off. Competing for souls were new, or dissenter, sects—Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Quakers, Methodists—and in time Roman Catholics. All had been present before the Revolution but in small numbers. With religious freedom, they flourished at the expense of the Episcopal church. Many Episcopal churches completely disappeared, and others included in this guidebook fell out of use between the 1780s and the 1830s. In reaction to the popularity of the dissenter groups, the Episcopal church, under the leadership of bishops Richard Channing Moore and William Meade, became resolutely “low church” and de-emphasized liturgy. This anti–“high church” policy remained in effect well into the latter nineteenth century, and consequently, with few exceptions, such as Benjamin Henry Latrobe's St. Paul's, Alexandria—a nationally significant building—the Episcopal church in Virginia never took the stylistic lead in the Gothic Revival as it did in other parts of the country. Instead, it was the Presbyterians, with Minard Lafever's Second Church, Richmond (1848), and the Baptists, with Thomas U. Walter's Freemason Street Baptist Church, Norfolk (1849–1850), who established the Gothic Revival of the mid-nineteenth century in Virginia. Not until after the Civil War did Episcopalians begin to build in the Gothic Revival style.
However, the dominant Virginia church form of the period 1780–1840 and beyond was not Gothic; it was typically a rectangular box with twin entrance doors on a narrow end, and its interior was a single large preaching space with possibly a gallery, as at Emmaus Baptist Church, near Providence Forge, New Kent County, on the Lower Peninsula. Built of wood or brick, these twin-entrance-door churches could have Federal, Roman Revival, or Greek Revival details. The twin doors reflected an interior arrangement that responded to the shift in worship, the emphasis on the spoken word; hence, the pulpit, usually placed at the center of the back wall, became the focal point. Instead of the traditional central aisle, the middle of the nave was furnished with a block of seats with an aisle to either side and corresponding twin entrance doors or twin doors in the narthex. Additionally, some churches separated men in the congregation from women and children, and the doors were assigned by gender. Although this practice largely died out, a few Primitive Baptist congregations today continue to separate the sexes. The twin-entrance church became the archetype in Virginia after 1800, so popular that it was used for the few new Episcopal churches built, such as Christ Church, Glendower, Albemarle County (1831–1832), which could be mistaken for Baptist, were it not for its rich Jeffersonian details.
The development of Virginia's industrial landscape had begun early with a glassworks in Jamestown. Iron furnaces and ironworks were set up in rural areas, in the Chancellorsville vicinity in Spotsylvania County c. 1717, the Falmouth vicinity in Stafford County c. 1750, and other places; but only modest stone ruins remain. The Tredegar Iron Works was established in Richmond in 1837, and its rapid growth after 1841 helped bring Virginia industry into the big time. It was the source for iron fronts for commercial buildings and other goods, including weapons for the Civil War. Portsmouth and Norfolk prospered from shipbuilding, long established in the Tidewater area. Accompanying this activity was a dramatic increase in scale of government installations, such as Fort Monroe, guarding Hampton Roads, and the Portsmouth Naval Hospital, which stretches along the Elizabeth River.
Rural areas always had a mini-industrial landscape of grain mills and lumber mills. The most prominent survivors from this period are Colvin Run Mill, Fairfax County, and Aldie Mill, Loudoun County. Although increasingly the land was worn out, tobacco was a major crop until the 1840s. Tobacco barns, used for curing, were usually insubstantial wooden structures and have left few remains. Tobacco was shipped north to be processed for plug and chewing; not until the 1880s did cigarette production begin.
In 1831, the Chesterfield Railroad Company opened the first railroad, which hauled coal on tracks some twelve miles, the motive power supplied by mules and horses. Steam-powered rail transportation appeared by 1837, and the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac line had tracks between Richmond and Fredericksburg. Farther north, transportation was still by steamboat, and through rail connections to Washington waited until 1872. Instead of focusing on railroads, Virginians continued to build the great folly, the James River–Kanawha Canal, which would link the Potomac and the Ohio rivers. Millions of dollars and too much time were wasted on this unsuccessful venture, whereas by 1850 the Erie Canal had been open for twenty-five years, and by 1852 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad had completed its line to Wheeling, funneling rail traffic to Baltimore, not to Richmond.
These events and resultant building contributed to the vernacular landscape of Virginia. Another transformation occurred as professional architects made an appearance and substantially changed the look of high-profile buildings. Certainly designers existed earlier, so-called gentleman architects such as Governor Francis Nicholson in Williamsburg and William Byrd III at Westover. Others were skilled craftsmen: John Ariss, a mason who contributed to several churches and possibly other buildings; James Wren, who designed several northern Virginia churches; and William Buckland, a talented joiner who was responsible for the interior at Gunston Hall and a few houses. With some exceptions, the designs of most of this latter group were a byproduct of their involvement in the process of construction. They were not hired specifically to design a structure that would be built by somebody else. Nor were they professionally trained, either through the apprentice system or schooling, to practice as architects. All of this changed in 1796 when Benjamin Henry Latrobe, an architect born and trained in England (though his mother had been born in America), landed in Norfolk, and during the next three years (sometimes under the patronage of Jefferson), mainly in Richmond, designed houses, a prison, and a projected theater and traveled around the state making a series of drawings that remain one of the best records of Virginia buildings. Most of Latrobe's Virginia buildings are gone, but his architectural drawings survive. They illuminate the difference between the professional and the amateur or the builder. Latrobe ultimately traveled north to Philadelphia and trained some of the next generation of American architects, Robert Mills and William Strickland, both of whom made notable contributions to the state's building stock.
Although professional architects functioned primarily as designers, the split between architectural design and construction was not complete until much later in the century. Builders, or housewrights, or joiners, or masons frequently styled themselves as architects. In 1810 Alexander Parris came south to Richmond from Boston, where building activity was at a standstill because of British embargo, and in the next two years designed a house for John Wickham and a mansion for the governor in the most up-to-date neoclassical style. Similarly, the workmen Thomas Jefferson employed at the University of Virginia—John Neilson, James Dinsmore, William B. Phillips, Malcolm Crawford, and others—began in the building trade; learned about designing through books, observation, and construction; and went on to significant careers.
Thomas Jefferson's place in this changing role of the designer is ambiguous. In many ways he was a gentleman amateur, strictly self-trained from books, observation, and travel. Jefferson had more knowledge and experience of travel abroad than any architect in this country with the exception of the European émigrés, such as Latrobe and Maximilian Godefroy (who worked in Richmond during 1816); indeed, until the advent of the mid-nineteenth-century Beaux-Arts-trained generation represented first by Richard Morris Hunt, Jefferson, among native-born American architects, stands with Charles Bulfinch in firsthand knowledge of European architecture. Jefferson designed his own houses, Monticello and Poplar Forest, Bedford County (the latter in western Virginia), and he was involved in the construction process, which puts him in the categories of both gentleman architect and builder. However, the scale of his later projects, including directing the building of the University of Virginia, is mammoth; the university was one of the largest construction projects in the country at the time. Jefferson did depend on books, as Latrobe complained, but Jefferson also thought very much like a professional architect; his drawings reveal his consideration of alternatives and departure from “rules” when it suited him. When Jefferson's various designs are assembled and compared, it is obvious that he was among the major architects, not just of Virginia, but of the United States; he was both a form giver and a symbol maker.
Monticello remains the primarily personal touchstone for understanding both Jefferson's genius as an architect and limitations as a human being (for instance, the design of the wings to submerge services and keep slavery out of sight); but it was in the public realm, at the Virginia State Capitol, where his importance emerged. From a practical standpoint the design is folly, compressing all the functions of government into a rectangle, but from a symbolic standpoint it is sheer genius: American government symbolized by a religious temple in a classical form which became the official national architectural language. The centerpiece of the interior, Jean-Antoine Houdon's standing figure of George Washington (1788), the commission for which Houdon received through Jefferson's instigation, was not just the first of a long line of monuments to Washington, but the beginning of the national—and Virginia—mania for monuments and memorials. Jefferson also designed, or at least contributed to, three Virginia courthouses (Botetourt, Buckingham, and Charlotte counties, all in western Virginia), which helped create the American predilection for temple porticoes. His design for the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, is certainly his masterpiece and is a model not just for an “academical village” but for how American settlements and the landscape might be ordered.
Some historians have concluded that Jefferson exercised little influence outside the immediate Piedmont area, the location of structures designed and built by the brickmasons, carpenters, and undertakers who worked for him at Monticello and the university. But a larger heritage exists that includes college campuses, houses, and public buildings throughout Virginia and the South that show his influence. His involvement in developing the plan for Washington, D.C., and then the designs for the President's House and the U.S. Capitol was critical: without his participation the public image of the nation's capital would be very different. Moreover, although Jefferson tended to rely on Palladian and antique Roman forms, the Greek Revival, which began in earnest in the 1820s, was indebted to his popularization of the temple form. Indeed, the Greek Revival was not particularly Greek in many of its manifestations, and buildings such as Ammi B. Young's U.S. Customhouse in Norfolk are more Roman than Greek. The debate over Jefferson's architectural proclivities—whether he was a neo–English Palladianist or more committed to French architecture—misses the point that his eclecticism set the stage for the succession of rapidly changing styles that dominated the nineteenth century. Around 1900 Jefferson rose again as a source for the Colonial Revival.
Eclecticism and deferent stylistic solutions that involved the personal taste and symbolism of the architect and client dominated Virginia architecture after the 1820s. Important Virginia buildings by such noted figures as Alexander Jackson Davis, Thomas U. Walter, Thomas Stewart, Minard Lafever, James Renwick, Thomas Tefft, Calvin Pollard, Robert Mills, and William Strickland date from this period.
Decline, Recovery, and the Revival of the Past (c. 1840–c. 1940)
Virginia buildings from the 1840s and 1850s do not look greatly different from those of the 1830s. Perhaps they incorporate a bit more ornament and strain for the picturesque silhouette, as is true of the Virginia Theological Seminary (1857–1860) in Alexandria, by Norris G. Starkwether, but no great shift in aesthetics occurred. A real difference appeared later in the nineteenth century and in the twentieth, in structures that are larger and more extremely picturesque, such as Richard Morris Hunt's Virginia Hall at Hampton Institute (1872–1879), in Hampton, and E. E. Myers's Richmond City Hall (1886–1894), or that represent a self-conscious turn to earlier traditions, as with McKim, Mead and White's red brick and whitecolumned structures at the University of Virginia (1896–1898 and 1906–1910), Charlottesville, or that reflect modern ideas from the Midwest, such as Frank Lloyd Wright's design for Loren Pope (1939) in northern Virginia. In the countryside, or in the growing suburban areas, one can see the influence of pattern books by A. J. Downing until the 1880s; then designs from books by George and Charles Palliser and George Barber; and, in the 1920s, the appearance of kit homes sold by Sears, Roebuck and by other companies. The regional character of Virginia's architecture began to disappear, and Virginia began to look more and more like everywhere else.
Equally important, the architects mentioned in the last paragraph were not Virginians, but outsiders brought in to design new buildings or authors of nationally published pattern books. Virginia lost its architectural leadership except in the retrospective view. With the emergence of the Colonial Revival, Virginia became a source for national architecture, but again it was outsiders who came to look and carry ideas away. Buildings designed by Virginians were seldom noted in the national press, and frequently the important commissions in the state went to high-profile architects from other places. Even in the case of Virginia's most important twentieth-century architectural contribution, Colonial Williamsburg, the architects were not Virginians, but Yankees.
This shift in architectural production was but one symptom of a change that began sometime around 1840: Virginians began to lose their self-confidence. The change was evolutionary, occurring over many years, and its causes are not totally apparent. One, however, was the economic decline resulting from overreliance on one crop, tobacco, and the resulting depletion of the soil. Many of the early families migrated farther south or to the West. For those who remained, the economic disparity noted earlier continued. Testifying to the declining fortunes of agriculture in the 1840s and 1850s is the near-total absence in Virginia of the large multi-columned antebellum plantation and city houses that can be found in other, more prosperous southern states such as Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. And yet the state held onto its outmoded plantation system and to slavery. Despite attempts to introduce modern manufacturing, of which the Tredegar Iron Works was a successful example, the Virginia ethos was still rural. The continuing reliance on slavery debilitated whatever new ideas might have been imported before the Civil War. After the war, racism and segregation ensured a highly stratified society, in which movement from one group or class to another was difficult if not nonexistent. And of course the new sources of wealth were in the cities, not the country. Although Virginia developed large urban centers, its self-created mythology looked in other directions.
Virginia's cities and towns grew in the hundred years between 1840 and 1940, and, although the rural areas still prevailed politically, new industries were created. The Tidewater grew as a major center for shipping and, in 1882, Newport News, which was only a small town, became the eastern terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. The Huntington railroad family subsequently established the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company there. Except for the development of some suburbs, from which the wealthy might commute, Virginia cities until the 1870s remained largely pedestrian in which almost any destination lay within an hour's walk. Richmond was the site of the world's first successful electric streetcar system, inaugurated in February 1888; it encouraged the city to spread out. Although the automobile has continued this trend, suburbs, even in the 1930s, were typically compact, with houses on small lots, and their distance from a commercial center was seldom more than five miles. Ginter Park and the West End in Richmond, Ghent in Norfolk, and Hilton Village in Newport News all illustrate this pattern. Economic and racial segregation became more the norm in cities than they had been earlier. Certain streets or areas, the socalled show streets or grand avenues, became preserves of the wealthy. In Norfolk, West Freemason Street was the prestigious address; in Richmond, it became West Franklin Street and its continuation as Monument Avenue.
As an antidote to the increasing urbanization, parks and open spaces were developed. Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, designed by Philadelphia-based John Notman in 1848, remains the state's major example of a romantic cemetery. By 1851, Richmond had acquired park sites, though their major development came after the Civil War. In the early twentieth century the preeminent example of large-scale landscaping was a federal government initiative, the George Washington Memorial Parkway in northern Virginia, which initially linked Mount Vernon with Alexandria and was later extended west.
Many earlier building traditions continued throughout the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century. The I-house remained a staple of the Virginia countryside, though now frequently it had a front gable and porch, which reflected the impact of Downing and other pattern-book authors, and also of Mount Vernon. In cities the three-bay row house form was decked out in whatever were the current national fads in ornament and style. The same pattern can be followed in other building types. Virginia building in many ways mirrored well-known national trends. The history of architecture and building, however, is more than the recording of styles; buildings are more than physical shelter for activities. Buildings also represent mental shelters; they encompass values, beliefs, and views about the world. Behind buildings and landscapes lie ideas and beliefs that give distinction to Virginia's environment.
Some of what was distinctive about Virginia's landscape in the century 1840–1940 can be attributed to three interrelated factors or developments: the Civil War, the New South, and the quest for a historic past. The Civil War is, of course, primary, for it dramatically changed the state. But perhaps more important was the aftermath, the emotional reaction and the growth of a mythology that helped fuel several contradictory impulses: a celebration of defeat, the development of a “New South” mentality, and the search for a past, which resulted most prominently in the Colonial Revival and historic preservation.
The Civil War, the bloody conflict itself, and Reconstruction become ever present in Virginia, both as fact and as myth. Certainly the vast destruction caused by the war, such as the evacuation burning of Richmond, and the consequent economic deprivation immediately afterward must be factored into the loss of confidence. However, as cast iron buildings such as the Stearns Block (1869) attest, Richmond began rebuilding almost immediately. The belief that no recovery occurred between 1865 and the end of Reconstruction in 1876 is false, but rebuilding and growth came at a slower pace in Virginia than in the states and cities of the victorious North, where post–Civil War prosperity resulted almost immediately. Mammoth High Victorian structures with bulging mansard roofs, towers, and acres of ornament were not common in Virginia in the 1860s; instead they appeared in the 1870s and 1880s.
The Civil War gave freedom to African Americans, but the aftermath disenfranchised them as a group. It has only recently been recognized that a sizable free black population existed in the state, and particularly in Richmond, before the war. Knowledge of this community was obliterated for years; one of the few physical remains is the Third Street Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (1859) in Richmond, one of the rare surviving antebellum black churches in the country. After the war, prosperous black communities developed in Richmond, for instance, the Jackson Ward Historic District, and in Hampton in conjunction with the Hampton Institute. A black building and architectural community developed in the late nineteenth century. But just as blacks were segregated by Jim Crow laws in schools and residences, so was their architectural employment essentially restricted to the black community. Several black architects—John Lankford, Harvey Nathaniel Johnson, and Hilyard Robinson, to name a few—maintained successful practices.
Although inherently destructive, war leaves permanent remains. The cemeteries, battlefields, and monuments and memorials of the Civil War became a part of the Virginia landscape. Buildings actually constructed for the war are rare and only partially preserved, as in the case of Grant's headquarters in Hopewell. Some buildings sustained damage, and their subsequent rebuilding, like that of the Spotsylvania Courthouse, is part of their history. Not every Civil War cemetery is included in this book, but such notable ones as those in Arlington, Hopewell, Fredericksburg, and others contain small but important structures and monuments and evocative landscapes. Equally important are the battlefield remains, the various fortifications, earthworks, and open fields. The history of battlefield identification and preservation is complex, but some of the more significant activities took place around Richmond in the 1920s, when James Ambler Johnson and Douglas Southhall Freeman (the author of a biography of Robert E. Lee) “spent every Sunday for several years,” according to Johnson's recollection, locating and verifying sites that are now marked with signs along Virginia 156, the “Battlefield Route,” in eastern Henrico County. With assistance from the Richmond chapter of the Rotarians, a Battlefield Markers Association was formed, and about sixty stone-based markers with metal plaques were placed at various sites. Johnson and Freeman also developed a driving tour of the route. 10
“The War” began to be commemorated, and with commemoration came the development of a very particular myth, the idea of the “Lost Cause,” which began in earnest in the 1870s and rose to prominence from the 1880s to the 1920s. 11At its most basic, the Lost Cause myth claimed that before the war a noble and genteel civilization had flourished in the South and in Virginia in particular—a culture based upon humanitarian and Christian motives and beliefs and states' rights and rooted in the soil and an agrarian life. This culture—the myth held—stood in contrast with the evil and profit-motivated industrial civilization that arose in the North and had unjustly subjugated the South through armed conflict. According to the Lost Cause adherents, the war was not about slavery, but about states' rights and the triumph of the mercantile capitalist system. According to this myth, African Americans were far better off under slavery than as freedmen. Although the idea of the Lost Cause began to wane in the 1920s, it never totally died out; and in addition to visible remains of antebellum society, it set the stage for Gone with the Windand other examples of the plantation genre in literature and movies.
One of the most visible manifestations of the Lost Cause is the ambitious statuary program undertaken by a group of former Confederate officers, women, and ministers, which left its mark in Richmond, on Monument Avenue, and on the grounds of nearly every courthouse and public building in the state. The first monuments, installed in the 1870s and 1880s, were simple obelisks; in the 1890s they began to portray equestrian generals and enlisted foot soldiers. Many of the monuments were created in reaction to similar programs in the North, and the peak of activity was 1900–1920, with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, founded in 1895, as the driving force. The sculptors of the famous generals are known; some commissions, such as Monument Avenue's Lee, by Jean Antonin Mercie, of Paris, resulted from international competitions. The creators of the monuments to Johnny Reb remain as anonymous as their subject; some of these works came from the Roman Bronze Works of New York City and the McNeel Marble Company of Marietta, Georgia. Both companies offered easy credit terms to clients. Also a legacy of the Lost Cause myth were various military historical markers; cannons scattered about the state; and “encampments,” including Confederate veterans' homes, for example, in Richmond at the present-day site of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where the Confederate Memorial Chapel (1887), by Marion J. Dimmock, and the Home for Needy Confederate Women (1930–1937), now the museum's education building, remain. Other elements of the Lost Cause landscape include Battle Abbey, originally the Confederate Memorial Institute (1911–1913), now the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, the product of a national competition; the White House of the Confederacy, also in Richmond; the innumerable (historic) houses lived in by Lee and other Confederate leaders; Confederate grave markers; stained glass in churches (St. Luke's, Isle of Wight County; St. Paul's, Richmond); and the various flag-laying ceremonies that are still carried out as faint memories of the giant celebrations of Confederate veterans. A sacred landscape was thus created out of the war and its resultant myths. Of course, this was a white southern vision, not one shared by all segments of the population. The sacred landscape tells many tales, but the most evident is that the losers were really the victors, a type of historical reconstruction that has few parallels in the United States.
The counterpoint to the Lost Cause is the New South, which is a landscape of progressive business, factories, skyscrapers, and large Classical Revival banks and commercial buildings. 12The term “New South” was the invention of the Atlanta Constitutioneditor Henry Grady, who advocated in his speeches, editorials, and other writings of the 1880s that the South abandon its fixation on the agrarian past and embrace modern industry and commerce. Instead of wallowing in a poverty-stricken past, the South should actively compete with the North, attract investment, and become part of the modern world. Many southern business leaders agreed and argued that the South's natural resources—waterpower, mineral deposits, timber—coupled with a low-income population and an antipathy toward organized labor could replace the textile mills of New England, the chemical factories of the Middle Atlantic, and the furniture manufacturers of the Midwest. To what degree advocacy of the New South was an organized movement is questionable, but the idea did resound, and the consequences could be seen in the metropolitan centers and new industrial landscape of Virginia. New wealth also resulted, apparent in luxury hotels such as the Jefferson Hotel, Richmond (1895, 1901), by the New York firm of Carrère and Hastings and later John Kevan Peebles of Norfolk; the various large bank buildings; and railroad terminals. Private wealth expressed itself in mansions along Monument Avenue, Richmond, or the homes of Major James H. Dooley and his wife, Sallie May, in Richmond at Maymont (1890), by Richmond architect Edgerton Rogers, and Swannanoa (1913), Nelson County (in western Virginia). A tremendous wave of church building also resulted, with sometimes impressive results, such as the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (1901–1906), by New Jersey architect Joseph H. McGuire, and Beth Ahabah Synagogue (1903–1904), by Richmond designers Noland and Baskervill, both in Richmond.
The search for a historical past is part of both the Lost Cause landscape and the New South; many of the buildings associated with both are examples of the Colonial Revival. The roots of the Colonial Revival, however, go farther back than the 1870s and 1880s, and tracing them also brings to light the issue of the lack of self-confidence among Virginians that first appeared around 1840. One of the first architectural examples of consciously reviving the past is Bremo Recess (1834–1836), Fluvanna County, in the Piedmont. General John Hartwell Cocke, a former associate of Jefferson and owner of the very Jeffersonian Upper Bremo, explicitly duplicated two seventeenth-century Virginia buildings, one of which was Bacon's Castle, which he re-created in a Jacobean Revival structure with clustered chimneys and curved and stepped gables. In the 1850s, as the question of what was American and the possibility of a great conflict became more evident, interest in the past grew. Examples are Richmond's mammoth Washington Monument (1850–1869), begun by Thomas Crawford and completed by Randolph Rogers, in which an equestrian Washington is surrounded by a pantheon of Revolutionary worthies. In 1858 Ann Pamela Cunningham formed the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association and saved Washington's home, assisting in putting it in the public eye and establishing it as a venerable structure, worthy of emulation. However, it was in the 1870s, and especially around the time of the U.S. Centennial, that interest in the colonial period moved into a more public realm.
Virginia's role in the Colonial Revival in the 1870s and after was central and yet also demonstrated a lack of confidence; only after Yankees validated the Colonial Revival did Virginia become a full participant. Many of the discoverers of Virginia's architectural riches were northerners, one example being the firm of McKim, Mead and White, who first used the red brick southern plantation house image in Newport, Rhode Island, in the 1880s. The first measured drawings of Mount Vernon were made by the obscure New Jersey designer Van Campen Taylor in 1876.
Virginia's own participation in the Colonial Revival has many sides, which may be construed as the naive, the antiquarian, and the sophisticated. By naive is meant the continuation of earlier traditions, for instance, in the Culpeper County Courthouse (1870–1874), by a local builder, Samuel Proctor. Proctor probably was thinking not of a revival, but of continuing the Piedmont courthouse tradition begun by Jefferson. In 1889, dismayed at what seemed to be the neglect and decay of Virginia's colonial remains, such as the ruins at Williamsburg and the church tower at Jamestown, Cynthia Beverley Tucker and Mary Jeffery Galt founded the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA), the first such statewide association in the United States. Oriented toward the antiquarian, they were concerned with enshrining “interesting Colonial relics.” The APVA acquired property, became involved in preservation battles, and—through its restoration activities, such as the John Marshall house in Richmond (1911–1913)—promoted the Colonial Revival ethic. 13
In the sophisticated category were the professional architects, whose interest was exemplified by the drawings and brief descriptions of northern Virginia colonial houses that appeared in American Architect and Building Newsin the late 1880s. The work of Glenn Brown, an Alexandria native (though trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) who would become a leading restorer and Colonial Revival architect, these contributions to American Architectmark a shift in Virginia architects' appreciation of Virginia's past. 14The exploitation of Jefferson's architectural imagery began in 1893 with a design by John Kevan Peebles (in conjunction with James R. Carpenter) for a new gymnasium at the University of Virginia. Peebles wrote one of the first articles in the architectural press on Jefferson as an architect. 15Also in 1893, the first full-scale replica of Mount Vernon was constructed as the Virginia pavilion at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago after designs by Richmond architect Edgerton Rogers.
The exploitation of Virginia's colonial architectural heritage on a national scale by architects from across the country, noted above, also helped Virginians appreciate its value. McKim, Mead and White's work at the University of Virginia helped establish the large columnar portico, derived from Jefferson, as part of the southern colonial image. In the 1920s and 1930s, William Lawrence Bottomley, a New York–based architect, became the designer of choice for Virginia's elite. Bottomley's connections came through the Garden Club of Virginia; he designed buildings for many of the club's presidents. The Garden Club of Virginia, founded in 1920 (the Garden Club of America was founded in 1913), grew into a considerable force through its annual tours and funding of restoration projects. To this list might be added those historians and restoration architects who focused on Virginia architecture, such as Fiske Kimball, a Bostonian who wrote Thomas Jefferson Architect (1916), and Thomas Tileston Waterman and John A. Barrows, who wrote Domestic Colonial Architecture of Tidewater Virginia (1932).
Native Virginia architects have designed in many idioms, as this book illustrates, but what became the most pervasive was the Colonial Revival in its several Virginia manifestations. Red brick and white trim, or the James River image, is one, along with the white clapboard house and the Jeffersonian Roman temple. The Virginia architects of the Colonial Revival seldom appeared on the national stage; they remained quietly local. John Kevan Peebles was one of the leaders and helped to pro-ject the Virginia image through his work as chairman of the Board of Design and also main designer for the Jamestown Ter-Centennial Exposition, held in Norfolk in 1907, Virginia's entry in the series of Beaux-Arts extravaganzas mounted in a number of American cities in the wake of the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition. Many architectural images were represented at the Norfolk exposition, which included an early building by Frank Lloyd Wright, but the dominant style was gigantic-porticoed Colonial Revival. Large firms—such as Carneal and Johnston, Noland and Baskervill, and Marcellus Wright—as well as individual practitioners like W. Duncan Lee adopted the image.
If the Colonial Revival became the image of the new century, the most significant building type, at least from 1900 to 1940, was the school building. At the collegiate level a major building boom took place at both established institutions, such as the University of Virginia, and newly founded schools, such as Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington) and Old Dominion University. More important, perhaps, in concretizing the colonial image were the tremendous number of primary and secondary schools erected. School consolidation in rural areas brought about the need for new educational plants, designs for which came both from individual architects, such as Charles M. Robinson, who designed several hundred buildings for school districts, and the state itself, through the School Buildings Service of the state Department of Education. Between 1920 and 1950 the School Buildings Service provided plans and specifications for many of the rural schools built during this period. Personnel in the School Buildings Service developed standardized plans, which were then modified to suit individual sites. 16
The restoration, or more properly, the building, of Colonial Williamsburg, which began in the late 1920s, continued the interest in the colonial past. Initially in charge at Williamsburg was the Boston architecture firm of Perry, Shaw and Hepburn; they trained a group of native Virginians, including Milton L. Grigg and J. Everette Fauber, who became the new leaders. Colonial Williamsburg is the most famous design created in Virginia in the twentieth century, and its impact nationwide can scarcely be overestimated. From houses to corporate headquarters, from paint colors to interior decor, Williamsburg reproductions appear everywhere. The faux colonial Merchants Square at the end of Duke of Gloucester Street, designed and erected 1929–1935 as the tourist and commercial center for the town, became the model for innumerable shopping centers over the next sixty-five years.
Modernism, Tradition, and Large-Scale Growth (c. 1940–c. 2000)
“A local preference in general for the architectural styles of tradition” was how Architectural Recordmagazine summarized the results of a 1940 poll it conducted of Richmonders' opinions on the most admired recent architecture. 17Modernized, or stripped, classicism led the way, with the Virginia Department of Transportation Building (1939, Carneal and Johnston) ranked first and the Library of Virginia and Supreme Court Building (1939–1940, Carneal, Johnston and Wright with Baskervill and Son) in second place. The only really modern structure ranked was the recently completed Model Tobacco Factory (1938–1940), a Streamline Moderne design by the Chicago firm of Schmidt, Garden and Erikson, which took fourth place. Since the poll Virginia has gained many notable examples of modern architecture; indeed, the state is home to one of the most acclaimed post–World War II buildings, the passenger terminal at Dulles International Airport (1958–1962, Eero Saarinen with Ammann and Whitney Engineers), Chantilly. The nation's leading corporate architecture firm, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, has produced a number of designs for Virginia clients, including the Reynolds Aluminum Building (1953–1956) and the new Library of Virginia (1993–1997), both in Richmond, as well as buildings in Norfolk. One could go on with the list, for especially in Virginia's cities and in the new rings of industrial parks are many fine modern works designed by Virginians and by outsiders. But if a poll similar to that of 1940 took place today, most Richmonders and Virginians would rank as most admired those buildings with a historical image, especially that of the Colonial Revival.
Virginia has remained architecturally conservative (paralleling its political stance). During the three decades after World War II, when the American architectural press seemed to ban any consideration of the Colonial Revival or other traditional architectural idioms and aggressive modernism was the reigning orthodoxy in architecture schools (including Virginia's), many Virginia firms remained with the traditional styles. With the appearance of postmodernism in the mid-1970s and then, in the 1980s and 1990s, the highly promoted return to traditional architectural sources, Virginians eagerly commissioned new buildings. College and university campuses nationally became showplaces for new architecture, but Virginia was slightly different. Both the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia continued to build traditional red brick, white-trimmed buildings until the 1960s. Then, for a brief period, modernism made an appearance, sometimes with some success, as with Carlton Abbott's Muscarelle Museum of Art (1982–1983) at the College of William and Mary or with Pietro Belluschi and Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay's Campbell Hall for the School of Architecture (1969) at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Less successful were Hugh Stubbins's buildings for the School of Law and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, which were drastically remodeled in 1998. The University of Virginia commissioned designs by leading modernists, like Louis Kahn and Marcel Breuer, which never left the drawing boards. Certainly, other modern buildings exist at both universities, but one almost senses a sigh of relief when, with the reappearance of the Colonial Revival and Jeffersonian Revival as legitimate solutions, architects like Hartman-Cox, Robert A. M. Stern, and Allan Greenberg could be commissioned to design new—and stylistically safe—buildings.
So on one level, Virginia's built environment at the beginning of the twenty-first century still exhibits many of the features of earlier periods. But to note only those is to ignore vast changes in the larger landscape, especially in eastern Virginia. One set of figures will tell the story: in 1900, Virginia had no motorized vehicles; in 1940, the number of registered cars was 422,591; in 1997, registered cars and trucks totaled 5,709,000. Eastern Virginia became suburban—like much of the rest of the eastern seaboard—in the post–World War II years. Mobility became the key for almost all development. As late as the 1930s many rural Virginians had traveled no farther than twenty miles from where they were born, but now everybody could visit the big city. Suburbs; the commercial strip with its diners, motels, and fast food outlets; local and regional shopping centers; and industrial and office parks became the new dominant elements of the landscape. Joel Garreau's much-discussed book of the early 1990s, Edge City, took its cue from the rampant development of northern Virginia and of Fairfax County and Tyson's Corner in particular.
As the highway became the locus of development, the older U.S. highways (1, 15, 29, 60, 250) were widened and routed around cities and small towns, preserving some, killing others. Then, beginning in the early 1960s, the interstates (64, 66, 95, and 495) were built. Marvels of engineering in some ways—the multilevel interchange of I-95 in Richmond is one example—they are well landscaped for the most part, deadly boring, and frequently insensitive as they plow through cities and farmlands.
The larger Virginia cities—Richmond, Norfolk, Newport News, and Virginia Beach—dramatically show the impact of the new mobility: a spreading suburban ring, a downtown filled with large post–World War II office buildings and empty of much street activity, and large sections of the inner city filled with the disadvantaged. Many attempts to sustain downtowns through programs such as urban renewal seem to hurt them further. Northern Virginia—and the counties of Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, and portions of Loudoun and Stafford—have become one vast area of suburban sprawl. Some of the same pattern of strip development and sprawl can be seen around smaller towns; however, as of this date, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Tappahannock, Warrenton, Leesburg, and Fredericksburg appear to have retained semi-vital downtowns. Charlottesville's Main Street is worth examining as one of the few successful examples of an urban mall. Great portions of eastern Virginia remain rural, and small towns, such as Onancock, Heathsville, and Louisa, survive. However, some small villages (population under 1,000), such as Madison and Stanardsville, are almost gone; only the presence of a county courthouse in some cases allows them to survive. But in the countryside another change has occurred, a form of development known as “plops.” Larger farms are divided into 5-, 10-, or 40-acre sites, on which single houses, typically outfitted with satellite dishes, are built. The occupants emulate the life of independent landowners of earlier times. But they derive their income from jobs to which they commute and relate to no immediate community.
Virginia's intense development since 1940 is not unique, but aspects of it may be cited as significant and defining. These include historic preservation planning, a large national government presence, and innovations in housing.
Perhaps ironically, given Virginia's reigning agrarian myth, the state is noteworthy for the development of historic towns and districts. Certainly Colonial Williamsburg has served as a model, though it is a museum and only partially a town where the company employees live. More important as an example is Old Town Alexandria, which began to develop a historic consciousness early in the twentieth century. In the late 1920s the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce promoted the use of the “colonial style” for new construction, at a time when ordinances were already in place in Santa Barbara, California, and Palm Beach, Florida. However, Santa Barbara and Palm Beach were really new creations, whereas Alexandria was building on preexisting stock. Alexandria passed a historic district ordinance in 1946, and, although some urban renewal took place in the 1970s, Old Town retained a vital mix of building types, periods, and uses, and the city has on its planning staff an architectural historian and an architect sensitive to historical values and preservation. The historic districts created in Richmond—Monument Avenue (designated 1969), Shockoe Slip (designated 1971), Jackson Ward (designated 1976), and the Fan (designated 1985)—and Norfolk's Ghent (designated 1979) all illustrate in various ways how preservation planning can affect cities.
Helping to define Virginia since 1940 has been the increasing presence of a burgeoning federal government. Again, a sense of irony dominates, for, despite Virginia's prevailing conservative political stance in favor of small government, which derives from Thomas Jefferson's anti-big-government rhetoric, the prosperity the commonwealth has enjoyed is directly related to the expansion of the federal government in Washington and the presence of large military bases in the eastern part of the state. Of course, Jefferson and his cohorts eagerly sought the location of the national capital on the Potomac River, and originally a portion of northern Virginia, including Alexandria and what is now Arlington, was part of the District of Columbia. (It was ceded back to Virginia in 1846.) Before the late 1930s the federal government's Washington facilities remained largely within the boundaries of the District of Columbia. A few wealthy politicians had country estates in northern Virginia, such as Oatlands in Loudoun County and Woodlawn in Fairfax County, and small commuter suburbs grew up in Arlington, but they were minor. But around 1940 the situation changed; the federal government built the Fourteenth Street Bridge between Washington and Arlington and constructed National Airport (1938–1941) and the Pentagon (1941–1942). These heralded later expansions, which included the Central Intelligence Agency at Langley (1955), Dulles Airport at Chantilly (1958–1962), and many more too numerous to mention.
With these projects and the growth of government in Washington itself came the intense development of the last sixty years in northern Virginia and the creation of centers such as Rosslyn, Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Tyson's Corner and of the vast suburban wilderness stretching through Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, and Prince William counties. Architecturally, most of it is eminently forgettable, and it is difficult to believe that much of it, especially the commercial construction, will ever inspire the efforts of historic preservationists. Among commercial retail developments, Arlington's Pentagon City (1985–1989, RTKL) is worthy of a look as a demonstration of current mall design practices. Relentless development has meant that the few roadside delights the state possessed in the form of diners and motels are rapidly disappearing, although a few can still be found around Fairfax and in other areas.
Large military installations have helped to define Virginia since 1940. The military presence goes back many years. Fort Monroe (1836) in Hampton has been noted, and the U.S. Navy purchased the site of the Jamestown Ter-Centennial and established a base in Norfolk in 1917. The critical shortage of housing for workers at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company during World War I led the government's U.S. Housing Corporation to construct Hilton Village (1917–1919). Similarly, World War I brought about the establishment of Fort Belvoir and Quantico Marine Corps Base in northern Virginia. Although they became permanent posts and some building was done, it was through the massive buildup for World War II and the subsequent Cold War that these bases made an impact on their surroundings. Other installations—for example, Fort Robert E. Lee near Richmond, Langley Air Force Base, and naval weapons depots in the Tidewater—contributed to the intense suburbanization of Virginia. Architecturally, most of the bases are undistinguished. The exceptions and worthy of examination are, for the navy, the remains of the Jamestown Exposition at Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk; for the army, the central group of classroom buildings and spaces and the extraordinary officers' housing in (what else?) a Colonial Revival mode, at Fort Belvoir; and, for the Marines, the Lustron enamel steel housing at Quantico—a fitting contrast to housing built by the army.
A few exceptions relieve the undistinguished character of the suburban housing that has sprung up in northern Virginia and around Richmond and the Tidewater cities. Much of it reflects national trends, including the dominance of large building consortiums, which purchase land, then design, build, and sell a total package. Prefabricated and factory-made modular homes are everywhere, and, as is common nationwide, the architect has largely disappeared from the process, except for high-profile, wealthy clients. Red brick, white-trimmed colonial rules for the most part, though in every post–World War II house, the brick is simply a veneer over a wooden stud frame.
Virginia's distinction in twentieth-century housing is apparent in several forms: the apartment complex, the subdivision, and the new town. In Arlington County, Colonial Village (1935–1940, Harvey Warwick) was the first project insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Inspired by the greenbelt town concept of Henry Wright and Clarence Stein, as promoted by Lewis Mumford, Colonial Village was built on sloping ground with two-story units arranged around landscaped courtyards. 18Buckingham Village, a short distance away from Colonial Village, and also in Arlington, was started a year later, in 1936, and construction continued until 1953. More extensive and advertised as a “community of the future,” Buckingham Village was planned by Henry Wright and embodied a more coherent social philosophy. The layout of Buckingham is more varied than that of Colonial Village, but it represents the same garden city principles. Working for the FHA was Chloethiel Woodward Smith, who became an important Washington and northern Virginia architect; she was responsible for codifying the Wright-Stein principles for FHA projects. The impact of Colonial Village and Buckingham was immediate, in Washington and, in northern Virginia, at Arlington Village, Parkfairfax, and Fairlington, and nationwide; they served as prototypes for many town house developments.
Amid the morass of suburban subdivisions, several, such as Pine Springs in Fairfax County, might be noted, but the single most important, not just for Virginia, but nationally, is Hollin Hills (1946–1971, Charles Goodman, architect; Lou Bernard Voight, Dan Kiley, and Eric Paepcke, landscape architects), in Fairfax County. Goodman, working for the developer Robert Davenport, created a variety of houses in a modernist idiom. They became the basis for designs Goodman provided in the early 1950s for the National Homes Corporation, one of the country's largest merchant builders. The recipient of numerous awards and citations, Hollin Hills was covered in Lifemagazine and cited by the American Institute of Architects on its 100th anniversary as one of the “Ten Buildings in America's Future.” 19In siting, style, interior planning, and overall layout, it is a critically important example of one direction Virginia's and America's suburbs could have taken but did not.
A similar observation could be made of Reston, Virginia's other major contribution to the problem of postwar suburban sprawl. Accounts of Reston appeared in nearly every major periodical in the early 1960s. It was the first, the best known, and, in most ways, the most successful of American new towns. 20Sited around a lake with an integrated commercial-residential area and aggressively modern in style, it was designed by the New York firm of Whittlesey, Conklin, and Rossant; Charles Goodman and Chloethiel Woodward Smith also participated. The initial scheme imposed strong design restrictions; however, the original developer, Robert Simon, lost financial control of the project, and subsequent owners, including corporate giant Mobil, allowed anything to be built. The small scale of the commercial area built as part of the first scheme proved to be a problem, especially with the emergence of largesquare-footage franchise stores. The next stage can be seen at Reston Town Square (1986–1990, RTKL and Sasaki Associates), which is postmodern and reasserts “the old main street,” though devoid of traffic, as the new image; parking is in the acres of asphalt that surround the center.
Significant examples of modern architecture have been built in Virginia since 1940 with, perhaps, Eero Saarinen's Dulles Airport leading the way. Postmodernism and the variants under that vague label have also been constructed by architects as diverse as Michael Graves, Robert A. M. Stern, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, and Cesar Pelli, all of national stature; and by such regional firms as Marcellus Wright, Cox and Smith; The Glave Firm; and Baskervill and Son. But, as noted at the opening of this section, and indeed throughout this introduction, Virginians have shown a preference for the architectural styles of tradition, and the various revival styles still ride high. The past is always very present in Virginia.
John Smith, The Complete Works of Captain John Smith (1580–1631), ed. Philip L. Barbour (Chapel Hill: Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Va., by the University of North Carolina Press, 1986), 1: 144.
William Bainter O'Neal, Architectural Drawing in Virginia, 1819–1969, exh. cat. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia, School of Architecture, and Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1969); Charles Brownell, Calder Loth, William M. S. Rasmussen, and Richard Guy Wilson, The Making of Virginia Architecture (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1992), and William Bainter O'Neal, Architecture in Virginia: An Official Guide to the Old Dominion (New York: Walker and Co., for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1968).
Anne Carter Lee et al., Buildings of Virginia: The Valley, South, and West, Buildings of the United States (Society of Architectural Historians and Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, ed. William Peden (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1955), 108.
William Waller Hening, comp., The Statutes at Large: Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, From the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619, 13 vols. (Richmond, 1809–1823), 2: 261. See also John O. and Margaret T. Peters, Virginia's Historic Courthouses (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995).
James Kornwolf, “So Good A Design,” The Colonial Campus of William and Mary: Its History, Background, and Legacy, exh. cat. (Williamsburg: The College of William and Mary, Joseph and Margaret Muscarelle Museum of Art, 1989).
Robert Beverly, The History and Present State of Virginia[London, 1705], ed. L. B. Wright (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1947), 105.
Hugh Jones, The Present State of Virginia, ed. Richard L. Morton (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966), 70.
Daniel D. Reiff, Small Georgian Houses in England and Virginia: Origins and Development through the 1750s (Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Press, 1986).
Ambler Johnson, “Echoes of 1861–1961,” Automobile Tour of Principal Battlefields near Richmond (Richmond: Chamber of Commerce, 1970), n.p.
For background, see Gaines M. Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, The Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South, 1865 to 1913 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987).
The classic treatment is C. Vann Woodward, Origins of the New South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1951); see also Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).
James Michael Lindgren, Preserving the Old Dominion: Historic Preservation and Virginia Traditionalism (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993).
Glenn Brown, “Old Colonial Work in Virginia and Maryland,” American Architect and Building News22 (22 October; 19, 26 November 1887), 198–199, 242–243, 254. Reprinted in The Georgian Period, parts 1–2 (New York: American Architect and Building News, 1898–1901).
John Kevan Peebles, “Thos. Jefferson, Architect,” Alumni Bulletin [University of Virginia]1 (November 1894), 68–74; reprinted as “Thomas Jefferson, Architect,” American Architect and Building News47 (January 19, 1895), 29–30.
Selden Richardson of the State Library and Archives, Richmond, kindly provided this information; the School Buildings Service archive is housed there.
“The Record Poll,” Architectural Record88 (December 1940), 16–18.
See Clarence S. Stein, Toward New Towns for America, rev. ed. (New York: Reinhold, 1957).
“Best House under $15,000..,” Life, September 10, 1951, 123–127; “Notable Modern Buildings,” Life, June 3, 1957, 72–73; Paul Rudolph, “Frank Adding up of Assets” and “New Homes: Wacky and Staid,” Life, November 24, 1961, 111–116; and Frederick Gutheim, 1857–1957: One Hundred Years of Architecture in America (New York: Reinhold, 1957), 16.
“Reston: An Answer to Suburban Sprawl,” Architectural Record136 (July 1963): 119–134; John Morris Dixon, “Progress in Planning: A New Town Brings Urban Living Patterns to the Countryside,” Architectural Forum123 (July–August, 1965), 84–89; Ada Louise Huxtable, “Fully Planned Town Opens in Virginia,” New York Times, December 5, 1965, 1, 85; “New Towns,” Time, May 21, 1965, 77; “Reston: First of the New Satellite Cities,” Life, December 24, 1965, 144–145; Wolf von Eckardt, “The Community: Could This Be Our Town?” The New Republic, November 7, 1964, 17–24; Tom Grubisich and Peter McCandless, Reston: The First Twenty Years (Reston: Reston Publishing Co., 1985).