Eleven sites in Virginia have been added to the Virginia Landmarks Register, including ones in Charlotte County, Craig County, Lexington, Nottoway County and Roanoke.
Those west of Richmond were the Keysville Historic District in Charlotte County, the Gravel Hill Christian Church in Craig County, the Boude-Deaver House in Lexington, the Crewe Commerical Historic District in Nottoway County and the former Colony House Motor Lodge in Roanoke.
The Board of Historic Resources approved the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) listings during its December quarterly public meeting. The VLR is the commonwealth’s official list of places of historic, architectural, archaeological, and cultural significance.
Here is the list of places added, as described by the board:
Located in the historic district of the City of Lexington, the Boude-Deaver House in the Lexington Historic District is a sophisticated Gothic Revival house with many noteworthy features. The Boude-Deaver House property includes a two-story brick dependency dating to the late 19th century that prior to the early 1970’s rehabilitation had been attached to the rear of the main house. The two-story brick house was built for Rockbridge County Clerk John C. Boude and his wife, Musadora A. Boude, in 1874. The property was acquired by Charles R. Deaver in 1907 and by Nell Loving Deaver in 1948. By 1969, the house had been converted to three apartments. The house was rehabilitated in 1970-71. Interior features include a curved stair, original mantels, ornate coal grates, and richly ornamented plaster ceiling medallions.
The Colony House Motor Lodge located in the City of Roanoke comprises two motel buildings, a motel office with a porte-cochere, and a swimming pool. The motor lodge was strategically sited along a major arterial route connecting the city to areas further south and west. Designed by the Salem firm of Kinsey and Motley, Architects, the buildings reflect influences from the Googie style with cantilevered, folded plate roofs that create a repetitive geometric gable motif and demarcate the bays of each building. Various design features of the motor lodge exhibit the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on the architects. Site features including historic signage, breeze block walls, fencing, paved parking areas with curbing, and retaining walls – many of which were painted green – also serve to unify the property and identify its amenities. Dramatically juxtaposed against a steep and wooded hillside, the motor lodge is an excellent example of mid-20th century roadside architecture designed to catch the eye of passing motorists.
The Crewe Commercial Historic District captures the commercial core of the western Nottoway County town of Crewe. Also included within the district is the former Norfolk and Western Railway Company railroad yard, which defines the southwestern border of the district. The remainder of the district’s boundary is defined by the residential portions of the town. Crewe was planned and laid out by the engineers of the Norfolk and Western Railway Company in 1888 and the commercial core was largely complete in less than a decade. An 1899 fire resulted in the primary corridor shifting from Virginia Avenue to Carolina Avenue. The commercial district was created to directly support the efforts of the railroad through its new divisional headquarters and railyard, as well as to support the several hundred newly arrived railroad workers and their families.
Located in western Craig County, Gravel Hill Christian Church is located on a spur of Gravel Hill overlooking the village of Simmonsville, affording views of the Sinking Creek Valley and surrounding ridgelines. The simple frame building dates to circa 1855. Gravel Hill Christian Church stands today as a well-preserved example of the county’s simple but elegant traditional rural churches, which are typified by a rectangular footprint, symmetrical fenestration, a centered entry on the gable end façade, and Victorian-era decorative elements. The spartan interior plan features a sanctuary directed toward a pulpit dais at the back.
Located in Northumberland County is the Julius Rosenwald High School, originally known as the Northumberland County Training School. It was one of only seven two-story schools in Virginia constructed utilizing Tuskegee Institute designs for buildings that offered educational opportunities in industrial education to the first generation of African Americans born after Reconstruction. The Julius Rosenwald School is the only Rosenwald School constructed in Northumberland County. This exceptionally well-preserved, two-story, six-room, wood-frame school provided educational opportunities for generations of African American students from the Reedville area, and towns across Northumberland County as far away as thirty miles or more.
The Keysville Historic District is in the northeastern corner of Charlotte County, in the rural central piedmont region of Virginia. Geographically, the district encompasses a significant portion of the small town of Keysville and is accessible by both major roads and rails. These transportation routes have always played a significant role in the development of the town. Keysville was first established as a small postal village with a tavern along the stagecoach line in the early 19th century and expanded with the coming of the railroad in 1853. Keysville was incorporated as a town in 1887 and blossomed over the next 40 years. Road improvements of the 1930s and the rise of the automobile spelled the eventual end of passenger rail travel through Keysville and the last passenger train stopped at the Keysville Depot in 1956. Despite this, Keysville continued to be a central commercial destination in the midst of a heavily agricultural area, and its location on major roadways ensured its continued survival and evolution.
Rotherwood is an early 19th century agricultural estate and former plantation located in rural Southampton County, west of the town of Capron. Rotherwood includes one early 19th century outbuilding and several 20th century agricultural outbuildings located to the north of the house. Rotherwood is locally significant as a well-preserved 19th century plantation that evolved into an agricultural estate following the Civil War; for its association with upwards of 100 enslaved persons who lived and worked on the property; and for the architectural importance of the main house and its collection of vernacular outbuildings.
Located in the City of Alexandria, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Cemetery is part of the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex. The cemetery complex was established early in the 19th century, after burials within the limits of Alexandria were prohibited out of concerns about public health. St. Paul’s Cemetery was founded in 1809, and today occupies 2.8 acres. The cemetery’s most significant design feature is its assortment of 19th and early 20th century grave markers of varying type, material, age, and ornamentation, and the artistry displayed by many of the hand-cut markers. Marker styles range from simple tablets to elaborately carved obelisks and sculptures, featuring pictorial symbols and other decorative elements. Defined walkways once allowed visitors to wend through the cemetery; these were a popular feature during the 19th century when cemeteries often doubled as parks where people could visit graves, enjoy the peaceful setting, and perhaps have a picnic.
The 1883 Union Street School, located in Loudoun County, is an intact example of an African American schoolhouse operated during the Jim Crow era of segregation. The “Leesburg Training School,” as it was known during the 1930s, stands as testimony to the fallacy of “separate but equal” doctrine used to justify racial segregation in numerous aspects of Virginian life from the late 19th century through the late 1960s. Union Street School originally was constructed as an elementary school to replace the varied assortment of grade schools established by the Freedmen’s Bureau and later supported by churches, benevolent societies, and local community groups to ensure African American children received access to public education. Most remarkable is the school’s still little-altered condition since its closure in 1959. Having never received system upgrades such as heating, air conditioning, hot water, or a modern lighting system, the school stands as a witness to the conditions offered to the African American community before the end of segregation.
The Walnut Hill Historic District comprises a large residential neighborhood located near the center of the City of Petersburg. The neighborhood was first subdivided in 1910 after acquisition of a nearly 250-acre farm, at one time called Walnut Hill. The district is characterized by ordered streets, most of which are named after large pre-Civil War Virginia plantations. There are 638 contributing resources and 254 non-contributing resources within the Walnut Hill Historic District. The 638 contributing resources remain mostly intact with very few modifications to their architectural integrity. One property, Christ and Grace Episcopal Church, a contributing resource in the Walnut Hill Historic District, is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood remains highly representative of an early 20th century planned suburban neighborhood in the region including the streets, layout, styles, and residence types.
Located in the City of Virginia Beach, the Woodhurst Neighborhood Historic District is a mid-20th century residential suburban development comprised entirely of architect-designed, Contemporary-style, one-story, single-family dwellings. The houses in Woodhurst reflect Modernist influence in the use of low-sloped, front-facing gable roofs, a variety of sheathing materials, prominent interior brick chimneys, and integrated carports and garages. Some of the bricks used in the construction were salvaged from buildings demolished in Norfolk for the construction of the downtown tunnel. Many of the houses stand at an angle to the street to provide privacy, but also as a conscientious effort by the designers and developers to avoid the “regimented rank-and-file” appearance typical of other suburban neighborhoods. The Woodhurst Neighborhood Historic District stands out as the best and most intact example of a mid-century Contemporary-style residential development in what was then Princess Anne County, an area that experienced rapid development in the 1950s and 1960s.