The Sandston Historic District in Henrico County (located southeast of the city of Richmond) consists of 226 acres of one- to two-story single-family dwellings, churches, a small number of commercial and civic buildings, and community facilities largely dating from 1918 to 1966. The unincorporated community began after the United States Housing Corporation built 230 kit houses for employees of Seven Pines Loading Plant #3, a munitions factory owned and operated by the E. I. DuPont de Nemours Company, a major supplier of munitions for the Allied powers during World War I. Still largely in place, the houses were built from materials supplied by the Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan, or from actual Aladdin kits, and consisted of four models of six-room bungalows designed by the DuPont Engineering Company (a subsidiary of the company running the munitions plant) and built by the U.S. Housing Corporation. The DuPont Company’s plan envisioned accommodations for approximately 3,000 workers, three-quarters of whom were young, single women. To underscore the importance of female workers, the Commonwealth formed a quasi-military organization called the Women’s Munitions Reserve, which by August 1918 had 500 members. After the war, when munitions production ceased, the federal government sold most of the buildings associated with the plant, including the 230 houses, to the Richmond-Fairfield Railway Company (RFRC) in 1921. Under the leadership of RFRC president Oliver J. Sands, the company transformed the workers village into a suburban enclave for working-class commuters; it built affordable housing, platted additional streets, and developed infrastructure for commerce. Today, the architecture of the district varies in style, from houses of similar designs that span entire blocks—including Colonial Revival, Bungalow/Craftsman, Spanish Mission Revival, and Minimal Traditional—to commercial and institutional buildings exemplifying Classical Revival, Moderne, and International styles. Sandston Elementary School and three community churches are among the most notable institutions in this historic railway district.
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