Ornament was a hallmark of late-19th-century architecture throughout the western world. From the simplest dwelling to the grandest public work, architectural decoration was considered essential for a dignity of appearance. Even in a small mountain community such as the Montgomery County seat of Christiansburg, a cottage could find itself decked out in wooded finery, most likely produced in a local woodworking company. Christiansburg’s Surface House, on one of the community’s highest hills, is a simple, one-story abode, but one made elegant and charming through the judicious use of ornament. Here turned posts, a bracketed cornice, and sawn lintels give character to an otherwise unassertive work. A rare example for Montgomery County of an ornamented cottage, the house was built ca. 1870 for Frank Surface and remained in the Surface family until 1979. The house was carefully restored by its new owners late in the 20th century.
The Surface House was listed in the registers under the Prehistoric and Historic Resources of Montgomery County MPD.
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