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Virginia Landmarks Register

New Listings, September 2014

The first dormitory built at Virginia Tech, an early Charlottesville suburb, a cut-flower greenhouse complex in Lynchburg, and a modernist-style house of worship in Arlington County are among the seven new listings added to the Virginia Landmarks Register by the two boards of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in September 2014. (Use the arrow keys to scroll through a slideshow of the listings, or choose a listing from the drop-down menu above.)

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Barracks No. 1, Virginia
Polytechnic Institute,
Blacksburg

Constructed in 1888 for the Corps of Cadets, Barracks No. 1, today's Lane Hall, was the first dormitory built at the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or more familiarly, Virginia Tech). Barracks No. 1 is one of the oldest buildings associated with Virginia’s premier land grant college, whose mission was to provide practical, industrial, and agricultural education as Virginia slowly recovered from the Civil War.
     The building is also important as the original home of the Corps of Cadets at VPI, where military training and drills were an important part of the school’s original curriculum and remain so for the current growing body of cadets. The building retains a high degree of integrity, as well as its distinctive original design in the Second Empire style, featuring a mansard roof and central tower. Its unusual plan of five separate entrances and non-connecting bays, each with its own staircase, is also preserved with very few changes to the plan. Located at the center of VPI's Upper Quad, the barracks building stands at the heart of the original college and also of the current university.

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Doyle Florist Inc. / H. R. Schenkel Inc. Greenhouse Range, Lynchburg

The Doyle Florist Inc. / H. R. Schenkel Inc. Greenhouse Range in Lynchburg represents 80 years of activity in the cut-flower industry in the U.S. That industry originated in the 17th century and became an important component of agricultural commerce in the U.S. during the 20th century. The industry peaked nationally in 1990 and nearly collapsed during the following years due to competition from international markets.
     The Doyle-Schenkel Greenhouse Range reflects the industry’s modern period of expansion, success, and decline nationally. Beginning in the 1920s, the Dolye family established the original greenhouses, power plant (to heat the greenhouses), root cellar, and farmhouse, creating a complex that typified the historical production process and culture of the national industry. During the 1950s, when the Schenkel family operated the business, more greenhouses were built to accommodate the industry’s growth in the U.S. during the post-World War II period. Later buildings were added to continue operations during the 1960s and 1980s. The property, now open to the public, was purchased in 2004 by Lynchburg Grows in order to preserve its historical significance and to provide horticultural educational opportunities and products year round.

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Farmer's Rest, Henrico County

Farmer’s Rest is an early- to mid-19th century rural Greek Revival house built circa 1835 in Henrico County by the prominent and wealthy landowner Henry Cox. The house features a transverse front hall plan and two semi-exposed rear chimneys, making it one of only a few surviving pre-Civil War dwellings with this type of layout in the county. Considering that the house was within a few miles of Civil War battle lines and that it fronted a major transportation route, Varina Road, and had a temporary military road passing across the rear of the property, it is fortunate that the house survived the war. It appears to have been used by Union troops at various periods, but most intensively in 1864-1865. Although the house has undergone a moderate evolution of architectural materials since its construction, currently it is in the process of rehabilitation to reveal its original high-quality features such as its 1830s weatherboard, formerly concealed by aluminum siding.

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Fry's Spring Historic District, Charlottesville

Located in the southwest section of Charlottesville, the Fry’s Spring Historic District derives its name from the 18th- and 19th-century Fry family, landowners in the area and proprietors of the two abundant natural springs that carry the Fry family name. With its convenient access to the city’s center, the district emerged initially as a recreational, then later, residential area, after S. Price Maury purchased 170 acres in 1890 surrounding Fry’s Spring and created the Jefferson Park (later Fry’s Spring) Hotel and Land Improvement Company centered on the open space of Jefferson Park.
     In 1913 the hotel was demolished and during the 20th century the Fry’s Spring district’s rolling topography, winding streets, generous tree cover, and particularly its distinctive Jefferson Park Avenue corridor served by trolleys and electric street cars, made the area a notable landmark neighborhood for residents of Charlottesville. In 1920, the Jefferson Park property was purchased and developed as the Fry’s Spring Clubhouse, which boasted an enormous swimming pool and affiliated recreational structures in a park-like setting, making it a focus of the emerging neighborhood. Today the district contains 387 character-defining buildings—including houses, recreational facilities, churches—and sites that contribute to the district’s look and feel.

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Murray Hill, Loudoun Co.

The 56-acre Murray Hill property in Loudoun County is important for its association with the Civil War Battle of Ball’s Bluff and for its 1930s Colonial Revival-style house. Located on bluffs overlooking the Potomac River, the property during the 19th century was known for its river landing and crossing; it was the site of at least one 19th-century era warehouse along the river. Edwards Ferry Road, which extends along the property’s southern boundary, was first mentioned in the historic record in 1791. The road and river landing made Murray Hill a strategic location during the Civil War. Soldiers traveled the road going to and from the Battle of Ball’s Bluff on October 21-22, 1861.
     Located within the core area of the Ball’s Bluff Battlefield, Murray Hill also features an exceptional and grand example of Colonial Revival-style architecture in the stone house Stirling Murray Rust built there in 1938-39. Rust, a native of Loudoun County, incorporated into the house features modeled after elements of his boyhood home of Rockland, also located in Loudoun. Contributing as well to Murray Hill’s historic importance are an early-19th-century log dwelling, a late-19th-century smokehouse, a circa-1900 tenant house, and a boat house, carriage house/garage, four sheds, saw mill, and a chicken/poultry house, all built around 1940.

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Security Storage & Safe Deposit Co., Norfolk

Constructed in 1916, the Security Storage & Safe Deposit Company Warehouse is one of only two intact large-scale industrial buildings remaining in the downtown and Atlantic City areas of Norfolk’s waterfront, where scores of warehouses and manufacturing buildings once stood.
     Largely intact, the warehouse retains most of its historic features including subtle architectural and decorative elements that distinguish it from other often non-descript concrete-and-brick warehouse construction. The warehouse was used for its intended purpose from its construction through the late 20th century, providing secure storage for a variety of goods ranging from tobacco to furniture to grocery products.
     In 1948 it was converted from a Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse to the E.F. Drews & Co., Inc.--Wholesale Chemists storage facility, at which time the original window openings were partially closed up. The building will be renovated and repurposed by its current owner using rehabilitation tax credits and its original window sashes will be replicated.

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Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Arlington County

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (UUCA), completed in 1964 as the new Sanctuary building for Arlington’s rapidly growing congregation, was designed by master modernist architect Charles M. Goodman. The two-story Sanctuary features pre-cast concrete construction, a prominent overhanging canopy roof and wrapping clerestory windows. Referencing traditional meeting halls and temples in its form, the building has character-defining features of the Brutalist architectural style in the Modern Movement. An excellent example of a Modern Movement church building, it embodies many of Goodman’s signature design ideals and the architect’s interpretation of a modern aesthetic for ecclesiastical architecture.
     The UUCA Sanctuary was one of only three ecclesiastical buildings Goodman designed and is the only one of his church buildings constructed in Virginia. An addition constructed in 1993-1994 realized Goodman’s original vision for a multi-purpose administrative and social wing to be located on the south side of the Sanctuary, and a second addition completed in 2013 further provides for these functions. Both additions are complementary in their design and form to the original block, and fulfill Goodman’s original vision for an expandable meeting space.