Encyclopedia Virginia: Architecture http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/img/EV_Logo_sm.gif Encyclopedia Virginia This is the url http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org The first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth /Gunston_Hall Wed, 09 Oct 2019 10:53:14 EST Gunston Hall http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Gunston_Hall Gunston Hall is the stately Georgian home of Virginia lawmaker George Mason in Fairfax County on the Potomac River. Mason inherited the land on which Gunston Hall is located from his father in 1735; construction on the house began in 1754. Completed in 1759, Gunston Hall was one of the finest homes in colonial America. While the house's exterior is typical of most Chesapeake plantation homes, the elegant interior reflects the full range of English rococo style, showing French, neoclassical, and chinoiserie influences, and stood out at a time when the prevailing building style was most often described as "neat and plain." The house's innovative architectural flourishes and intricate woodwork can be attributed to its English architect, William Buckland, and master carver, William Bernard Sears. Enslaved workers farmed part of the Gunston Hall grounds, growing tobacco and wheat, among other crops, and raising livestock. Log Town, a community of enslaved people, stood at some distance from the house. Today, Gunston Hall is owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and operated by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
Wed, 09 Oct 2019 10:53:14 EST]]>
/Anatomical_Theatre Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:18:02 EST <![CDATA[Anatomical Theatre]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Anatomical_Theatre The Anatomical Theatre was designed by Thomas Jefferson and erected on the grounds of the University of Virginia in 1825–1826. It was used for anatomy instruction and the storage of cadavers. Jefferson had long prioritized medical education in his plans for the university, but when Robley Dunglison, the first professor of anatomy, arrived in 1825, he found that his pavilion's teaching space was inconvenient for the dissection of cadavers. Inspired by Renaissance architecture and the work of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Jefferson designed a square, three-story building that housed a skylit, octagonal surgical theater on the top floor. The Anatomical Theatre opened for classes in 1827 and was the subject of periodic construction and renovations in subsequent decades. In 1837, a one-story brick Anatomical Laboratory was built behind it and used only for dissections. Enslaved labor helped construct and later clean the theater, with university records referencing a man known as Anatomical Lewis, who served as custodian from 1839 to 1857. In order to acquire cadavers for dissection, professors such as John Staige Davis, who taught from 1847 until his death in 1885, relied on grave robbers who stole mostly African American corpses. The building fell into disuse after the opening of the University of Virginia Hospital in 1901 and briefly served as home to the School of Rural Economics. It was razed in 1939 to improve views of the new Alderman Library. It is the only Jefferson-designed building at the university to have been torn down.
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/Slave_Housing_in_Virginia Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:15:45 EST <![CDATA[Slave Housing in Virginia]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Slave_Housing_in_Virginia Slave housing in Virginia varied widely depending on the context: whether it was rural or urban, whether it was on an elite plantation or a small farm, and even whether it was located close to or far from the slaveholder's main house. Many of the first Africans who came to Virginia lived in barracks-style housing and other, less-than-permanent accommodations. As the enslaved population grew, however, houses were designed and constructed specifically for black laborers and, in particular, those living in family units. Most slave quarters were constructed of wood, and many were log and earthfast structures with no foundations. Those located closest to elite plantation houses were generally better built, with wooden frames and masonry chimneys and foundations. Separate one or two-room structures, designed to accommodate one- or two-family units, were the most popular house type, although many enslaved laborers slept where they worked—in kitchens, laundries, and stables. Slaves who were hired out in cities sometimes resided in separate "shanty towns." Few intact slave quarters exist in the twenty-first century—likely fewer than 300—and most of those are relatively large and well-built.
Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:15:45 EST]]>
/Stratford_Hall Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:25:40 EST <![CDATA[Stratford Hall]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Stratford_Hall Stratford Hall is a 1,500-acre plantation located in Westmoreland County on the Potomac River. The politician and planter Thomas Lee purchased the land for Stratford in 1717; although no records exist to indicate when the house was built, construction likely began in 1738 and was completed sometime in the 1740s. The plantation was home to two signers of the Declaration of Independence—Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee—and was the birthplace of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Thomas Lee's descendants lived at Stratford until the 1820s, when Henry Lee IV sold the plantation to cover his debts. Since 1929, the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, or RELMA, has owned Stratford Hall.
Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:25:40 EST]]>
/University_of_Virginia_The_Architecture_of_the Wed, 08 Nov 2017 10:49:05 EST <![CDATA[University of Virginia, The Architecture of the]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/University_of_Virginia_The_Architecture_of_the As Thomas Jefferson's last major contribution to American public life, the University of Virginia combined his deepest civic and personal passions: democracy, architecture, and the dissemination of knowledge. Springing from concepts developed in his early years as a politician and gentleman architect, Jefferson's design for the university, which he called the "Academical Village," was a large, complicated composition based in the rules and monuments of classical architecture. Tightly organized around a U-shaped, terraced lawn with a library at its head, Jefferson's university combined faculty and student housing, classrooms, dining halls, and utility spaces into a relatively self-sustaining complex. Understood even by its founder as a place that would have to adapt to changing needs and a growing population, the university was amended and reconsidered throughout the nineteenth century, until a massive fire in 1895 allowed for a substantial reorientation of Jefferson's initial vision by the New York architecture firm of McKim, Mead, and White. Over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, however, attempts to alter and preserve the Academical Village have been far more cautious.
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/Arlington_House Wed, 15 Mar 2017 10:25:18 EST <![CDATA[Arlington House]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Arlington_House Arlington House, also known as the Lee-Custis Mansion, overlooks Washington, D.C., from a rise across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia. Constructed between 1802 and 1818, it was one of the earliest and boldest expressions of the Greek Revival architectural style in America. Arlington House claims special historical significance through its association with the Washington and Custis families, and particularly with Robert E. Lee. After his family's departure in 1861 at the start of the American Civil War (1861–1865), Arlington House became a Union army facility. In 1863 the United States government established a Freedmen's Village on the property that was intended to serve as a model community for African Americans freed by the 1862 abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia and the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. Its location, meanwhile, was a striking reminder that Arlington had once been a slave labor–based plantation. In 1864 the federal government officially appropriated the grounds and there established Arlington National Cemetery, which continues to serve as a final resting place for members of the United States armed forces.
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/Menokin Mon, 21 Nov 2016 14:08:24 EST <![CDATA[Menokin]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Menokin Menokin, located in Richmond County, was the home of Francis Lightfoot Lee and his wife, Rebecca Tayloe Lee. Constructed from 1769 to 1771, the home sat on a 1,000-acre plantation and was a wedding gift from Rebecca Lee's father, John Tayloe II. The designer is unknown but may have been the English craftsman William Buckland, who also worked on George Mason's Gunston Hall. The Lees lived at Menokin on and off until their deaths in 1797, and two years later the house was inherited by John Tayloe III, who owned it until 1823. The property changed hands a number of times before falling into disrepair and being abandoned by the mid-twentieth century. In the 1960s, the Omohundro family, which inherited Menokin in 1935, removed the interior paneling and woodwork to protect it from damage; in 1995, T. Edgar Omohundro deeded the property to the Menokin Foundation. Beginning in 1985, archaeological investigations evaluated the site and dated its occupation back to the Rappahannock Indians, who lived and hunted there prior to the arrival of the English. In the early twenty-first century, the Menokin Foundation opened a visitors center and began plans to preserve the site by replacing the missing walls and roof with glass and steel.
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/Jefferson_Thomas_1743-1826 Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:43:27 EST <![CDATA[Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Jefferson_Thomas_1743-1826 Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom (1786), founder of the University of Virginia (1819), governor of Virginia (1779–1781), and third president of the United States (1801–1809). Born at Shadwell, his parents' estate in Albemarle County, he attended the College of William and Mary and studied the law under the tutelage of George Wythe. In 1769, Jefferson began construction of Monticello, his home in Albemarle County, and for the rest of his life pursued an interest in architecture, which included design of Poplar Forest and the State Capitol. Jefferson also indulged a passion for science, serving as president of the American Philosophical Society (1797–1814) and publishing Notes on the State of Virginia (1795). After representing Albemarle County in the House of Burgesses (1769–1776), Jefferson was a delegate to Virginia's five Revolutionary Conventions and served in the Second Continental Congress (1775–1776) and the House of Delegates (1776–1779). He earned a reputation during the American Revolution (1775–1783) as a forceful advocate of revolutionary principles, articulated in A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774), the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms (1775), and, most famously, the Declaration of Independence, approved by Congress on July 4, 1776. His two terms as governor were marked by British invasion and Jefferson's controversial flight to Poplar Forest. From 1784 to 1789, he served as a diplomat in France and there may have begun a sexual relationship with his enslaved servant Sally Hemings. Jefferson served as secretary of state in the administration of George Washington (1790–1793) and as vice president under John Adams (1797–1801) before being elected president by the U.S. House of Representatives after a tie vote in the Electoral College. As president Jefferson arranged for the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the subsequent Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806). With James Madison, Jefferson helped found the Republican Party and advocated for states' rights and a small federal government, although as president he sometimes pushed the limits of his executive authority. In his retirement he founded the University of Virginia, which was chartered in 1819 and opened for classes in the spring of 1825. Jefferson died at Monticello on July 4, 1826, fifty years after the Declaration of Independence was approved. He is buried at Monticello.
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/Jefferson_Thomas_and_Gardening Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:11:11 EST <![CDATA[Jefferson, Thomas and Gardening]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Jefferson_Thomas_and_Gardening Thomas Jefferson's interest in gardening arose from a passionate curiosity about the natural world. From his childhood home at Shadwell, where in his early twenties Jefferson recorded that 2,500 pea seeds would fill a pint jar, until 1825, when at the age of eighty-two he sought and later received from the former governor of Ohio seeds of giant cucumbers, Jefferson had an unrelenting enthusiasm for natural history and horticulture that was expressed in his Garden Book. Sixty-six pages long, bound in leather, and residing today at the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Garden Book is also a reflection of Jefferson's Enlightenment ethic. Although he also displayed his love of gardening, food, and wine during his political life in Paris, Philadelphia, and Washington, and at his retirement retreat at Poplar Forest, Jefferson's lifelong home at Monticello became his experimental horticultural laboratory as well as a natural canvas on which to indulge his interest in landscape design, whether sketching plans for garden temples, planting groves of native and introduced species of plants, or composing dreamy visions for classical grottoes around natural mountain springs.
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/Ariss_John_ca_1729-1799 Tue, 11 Oct 2016 16:51:10 EST <![CDATA[Ariss, John (ca. 1729–1799)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Ariss_John_ca_1729-1799 Tue, 11 Oct 2016 16:51:10 EST]]> /Dinsmore_James_1771_or_1772-1830 Thu, 31 Mar 2016 17:44:06 EST <![CDATA[Dinsmore, James (1771 or 1772–1830)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Dinsmore_James_1771_or_1772-1830 James Dinsmore served as Thomas Jefferson's master carpenter for more than a decade. Born in Ireland, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1798 and began work for Jefferson soon after. Living and working at Monticello, in Albemarle County, he was responsible for much of the house's woodwork and furniture. In 1809, he and John Neilson oversaw the expansion of James Madison's Orange County plantation, Montpelier. The two worked on some of Virginia's most noted architecture, including the University of Virginia's Rotunda, Jefferson's retreat at Poplar Forest, in Bedford County, and John Hartwell Cocke's Upper Bremo home, in Fluvanna County. Late in his career Dinsmore designed and constructed Estouteville, a mansion south of Charlottesville, noted for its Tuscan exterior porticoes and great interior hall with an elaborate Doric frieze. Dinsmore drowned in 1830.
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/Association_for_the_Preservation_of_Virginia_Antiquities Mon, 21 Mar 2016 14:58:17 EST <![CDATA[Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Association_for_the_Preservation_of_Virginia_Antiquities Organized in 1889, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA), currently known as APVA/Preservation Virginia, was the nation's first statewide historic preservation organization. Spearheaded by an elite mix of female antiquarians and their "gentlemen advisers," it became a sanctioned instrument of conservatives who strove to counter social and political changes after the American Civil War (1861–1865) by emphasizing southern history and tradition. The APVA enshrined old buildings, graveyards, and historical sites—many of which were forlorn, if not forgotten—and exhibited them as symbols of Virginia's identity. As the national preservation movement evolved, the APVA became less overtly political and now identifies itself as a professional organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the Commonwealth's heritage.
Mon, 21 Mar 2016 14:58:17 EST]]>
/Jefferson_Thomas_and_Architecture Thu, 25 Feb 2016 16:31:40 EST <![CDATA[Jefferson, Thomas and Architecture]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Jefferson_Thomas_and_Architecture Thomas Jefferson was a passionate student of architecture whose designs are among the most influential in the early history of the United States. As a student at the College of William and Mary he purchased his first book on the subject and later assembled one of the largest libraries on architecture in America. He was particularly influenced by the classical style of Andrea Palladio, who emphasized symmetry, proportion, and the use of columns. These principles then came to define the architecture of the early United States, first in Richmond, with Jefferson's design of the State Capitol, and then in Washington, D.C., where he influenced decisions on the design of the U.S. Capitol and the White House. Jefferson is perhaps best known for his homes—Monticello, in Albemarle County, and Poplar Forest, in Bedford County—which became laboratories for Jefferson's design interests and his many influences. Monticello, in particular, brought together Jefferson's obsessions with classical forms and his admiration for contemporary France. During his retirement, Jefferson established the University of Virginia, creating a distinctive, U-shaped design of connected pavilions and a domed Rotunda circling a long, narrow green space. Along with Monticello, the university is considered to be one of the highlights of American architecture and cemented Jefferson's legacy as a designer.
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/Buckland_William_1734-by_December_15_1774 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 15:26:17 EST <![CDATA[Buckland, William (1734–by December 15, 1774)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Buckland_William_1734-by_December_15_1774 William Buckland was a builder and architect best known for his work on George Mason's Gunston Hall, in Fairfax County. Born in England, Buckland trained as a joiner and carpenter before coming to Virginia as the indentured servant of Thomson Mason in 1755. He worked on the interior detailing of Gunston Hall for the next four years. Buckland moved to Richmond County in 1761, where he purchased a farm and likely continued to work as a builder, although the specifics of his work have largely been lost. Mentions of Buckland in the Carter and Tayloe papers suggest he may have contributed design and construction to Sabine Hall, home of Landon Carter, and Mount Airy, home of John Tayloe II. In 1771, Buckland moved to Annapolis, Maryland, and there designed the Hammond-Harwood House and the courthouse in Caroline County. He died in 1774.
Wed, 06 Jan 2016 15:26:17 EST]]>
/Virginia_State_Capitol_During_the_Civil_War_The Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:02:58 EST <![CDATA[Virginia State Capitol during the Civil War, The]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_State_Capitol_During_the_Civil_War_The The State Capitol on Capitol Square in Richmond served as the center of political power and civic ceremonies for both Virginia and the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War (1861–1865). The building was the meeting place for the Virginia Convention of 1861 and wartime sessions of the General Assembly and the Confederate Congress. Robert E. Lee accepted command of Virginia's military and naval forces there in April 1861. President Jefferson Davis was inaugurated on Capitol Square in February 1862 and Governor William "Extra Billy" Smith was inaugurated inside the Capitol in January 1864. Political speeches, military drills, band concerts, and public assemblies for celebration and protest occurred on the Capitol grounds throughout the war. Several prominent Confederate leaders lay in repose inside the Capitol. Capitol Square became a safe refuge for city residents during the Evacuation Fire in April 1865 and the Capitol itself quickly became a headquarters for Union authorities in the early phase of the military occupation of Richmond.
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/Cary_Henry_d_by_1750 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:10:23 EST <![CDATA[Cary, Henry (d. by 1750)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cary_Henry_d_by_1750 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:10:23 EST]]> /Monticello Fri, 03 Oct 2014 15:06:46 EST <![CDATA[Monticello]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Monticello On land inherited from his father, Peter Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson established himself as a member of the Virginia planter elite at Monticello, his plantation in Albemarle County. Construction on the house began in 1769 and continued at intervals until 1809. It is a testament to Jefferson's interest in classical architecture and the importance of education in the Early Republic, and a statement about his position in society. The plantation began as a tobacco farm and shifted to wheat and grain cultivation in the 1790s, a decade that saw many changes to the landscape and the built environment of the approximately 105 enslaved people living there. Monticello ceased activity as a working plantation after Jefferson's death in 1826, passed through multiple owners, and was purchased by what is now the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in 1923. Open to the public today, Monticello is both a typical example of a piedmont Virginia plantation in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and an idiosyncratic architectural essay by a man deeply influenced by the architecture of ancient Rome, Renaissance Italy, and contemporary France. The home has become an American icon, appearing on the reverse of the Jefferson nickel from 1938 to 2003 and from 2006 to the present, and hosting an annual Independence Day celebration and naturalization ceremony since 1963.
Fri, 03 Oct 2014 15:06:46 EST]]>
/Houses_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 13:51:51 EST <![CDATA[Houses in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Houses_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Houses in early Virginia Indian society became necessary after the Ice Age, when the Indians began depending less on the hunt for survival. Among the Powhatan Indians, especially, but elsewhere in the region, too, a house, or a yi-hakan in Algonquian, typically had a circular or oval floor plan and was rarely if ever longer than forty feet. (The Powhatans designed special houses for their weroances, or chiefs, and their kwiocosuk, or shamans.) Built by women, Indian houses consisted of long, bent sapling poles that were covered with either woven-reed mats or bark. They had a single door, which also served as the only source of light and ventilation. Construction was labor-intensive and time-consuming, and Englishmen, who often were hosted by the Powhatans, complained that they were dark, smoky, and flea-infested. Within a hundred years of the landing at Jamestown, the Indians had begun to adopt English-style houses, but adapted them to native methods and materials (building, for instance, bark-covered cabins). After another hundred years, Indian houses had become largely indistinguishable from those built by non-Indians.
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/Cary_Henry_ca_1650-by_1720 Mon, 19 Aug 2013 12:39:38 EST <![CDATA[Cary, Henry (ca. 1650–by 1720)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cary_Henry_ca_1650-by_1720 Mon, 19 Aug 2013 12:39:38 EST]]> /Pentagon_The Thu, 07 Apr 2011 13:40:47 EST <![CDATA[Pentagon, The]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Pentagon_The The Pentagon, located in Arlington, Virginia, is home to the Department of Defense and serves as military headquarters for the United States. The enormous, 6.24-million-square-foot concrete structure is the largest office building in the world, covering thirty-four acres. Built to house the burgeoning War Department on the eve of the United States' entry into World War II (1939–1945), the headquarters was constructed in just seventeen months. From the moment Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall moved into the building in November 1942, the Pentagon has served as the focal point of American military planning and operations. Vital decisions regarding the D-Day invasion of Europe and the development of the atomic bomb were made at the Pentagon during World War II. In subsequent years the Pentagon has been the setting for many more critical decisions, from the Cold War and the Vietnam War (1961–1975) to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On September 11, 2001, terrorists flew a hijacked passenger jet into the Pentagon, killing 184 people and seriously damaging the building but not shutting it down. With its iconic, five-sided shape, the Pentagon is one of the world's most recognizable buildings and it has come to serve as a symbol of American military strength.
Thu, 07 Apr 2011 13:40:47 EST]]>
/Lee_Chapel Thu, 07 Apr 2011 11:38:33 EST <![CDATA[Lee Chapel]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Lee_Chapel Lee Chapel, whose spired clock tower rises above the tree-shaded campus of Washington and Lee University (formerly Washington College) in Lexington, Virginia, is the final resting place of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and is popularly known as "The Shrine of the South." Lee commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War (1861–1865). During his tenure as president of Washington College from October 1865 until his death in October 1870, he recommended the construction of and helped design a new chapel for worship and assembly. His wife, Mary Custis Lee, selected the chapel as Lee's burial site, and he was interred in a vault in the chapel basement. A mausoleum addition was dedicated in June 1883 that housed sculptor Edward Valentine's evocative memorial statue of the recumbent Lee. The nondenominational chapel was named a National Historic Landmark in 1961, and continues to accommodate large gatherings and special events. A museum on the basement level and tours of the chapel are available to the public.
Thu, 07 Apr 2011 11:38:33 EST]]>