Mirador is a country estate located at the foot of the Blue Ridge in western Albemarle County’s Greenwood-Afton Rural Historic District. Built in 1842 for James M. Bower, Mirador was the childhood home of Viscountess Astor, the first woman member of Parliament. Born Nancy Witcher Langhorne, she moved to Mirador with her family in 1892 at the age of twelve and lived there intermittently until she moved to England upon her marriage to Waldorf Astor in 1906. Throughout her long, eventful life, Lady Astor maintained pride in her Virginia origins and returned to Mirador for frequent visits. Mirador is also associated with Lady Astor’s sister Irene, wife of illustrator Charles Dana Gibson and prototype of his fashionable “Gibson Girl” of the 1890s. The mansion today is largely the product of an extensive 1920s remodeling undertaken for Lady Astor’s niece Nancy Perkins (later Nancy Lancaster), a noted interior decorator. The architect, William Adams Delano, transformed the Federal plantation house into one of Virginia’s more grandly appointed country homes.
An updated nomination in 2002 increased the originally listed 32-acre property to a total of approximately 141 acres. The boundary increase adds to the original Mirador designation associated farm buildings, farm landscape, and other resources that were originally excluded.
[VLR Listed: 6/12/2002; NRHP Listed: 5/22/2003]
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark